20 March 2007
Q&A: Jim Pocklington - EXCLUSIVE.
Jim Pocklington is one of the newcomers to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship for 2007 as he brings the BMW formally used by Edenbridge Racing back into the series.
Pocklington will run under the J Team Motorsport with Tech Tuning banner for his debut season as he swaps his 1990s Supertourer for more modern BTCC machinery.
Crash.net Radio took the chance to speak to Jim to find out more…
Jim, just tell us a little bit about yourself first of all.
I'm one of the older people in the BTCC. I'm 43-years-old so I am an old boy really, but I've been doing it for twelve years or more now. In recent years I've been racing an ex-BTCC Supertourer in Europe, a 1997 car, and the team looked at moving on to newer things because of the age of the car and advent of S2000 gave us the perfect opportunity. With there having been a few cars around from the WTCC, we had a bit of a choice over what car to use, but the BMW was a good starting point. Hopefully we can develop it a little bit and we can make our mark. We have to be realistic and we know we aren't going to be running at the front with the age of the machinery, my age and the budget we have, but hopefully we can make a mark at the back.
How big is the step from racing the Supertourer in Europe to coming into the BTCC?
In car technology terms, these S2000 cars are way below the Supertourer and the team felt that it would be easier to look after an S2000 car compared to the Supertourer, not just because of the age of the car we had but also because of the technical nature of it. Obviously it was all works teams building those cars with huge budgets, which makes it difficult for a little team like ours to run them.
It is the ex-Edenbridge BMW for the new season but why did you go down that route?
Financial, purely financial! I felt that this car, being an 04 car with what we paid for it, gave us a good opening to get into the BTCC at not too much cost. Obviously it is all about promotion, marketing and sponsorship and you need to get a foot in the door to develop those things and that leads you on to different cars. The BMW was a choice because it was easy and it was relatively cheap compared to other cars.
You have only recently confirmed your plans for the coming season, so was media day your first chance to actually test the car?
We tested the car when we bought in back in October at Silverstone, just to give us some sort of idea of what it was going to be like for myself to go from right-hand drive and front-wheel drive to left-hand drive and rear-wheel drive. When we tested it we thought we could cope with it and I could handle it, but since then we have had a mammoth task to put everything together to run. It's a big task to do in four months.
You said you don't expect to run at the front, but what would be your aims for the season ahead and what would you be happy with?
Now there are so many contenders in the BTCC, I feel that we are always going to get a race somewhere down the field, even if it is at the back. Hopefully it will be mid-way down the field and realistically it isn't going to be in the top ten but from there down there is a good array of people and machinery that we are going to have a race with. So I feel good about that.
So you maybe adopt the philosophy of go out there and have some fun…
Yeah, if you want - that's a good way of looking at it.
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the conversation - Add your comment
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