Tempus Sport team director Richard Coleman says he is encouraged by his team's performance during pre-season testing for the new HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship season despite a set-back in the most recent session at Thruxton.
The Chevrolet squad had already completed a series of tests on foreign soil, but joined Team Dynamics and Team RAC for what should have been a day of running at the quickest circuit on the BTCC calendar.
An incident early in the day saw Harry Vaulkhard slide off into a new section of barrier at Church, damaging the front of the car and bringing the test to a premature close, but Coleman wasn't too downbeat with the pace up to that point having been quicker than Vaulkhard had managed during the 2008 race weekend.
“Obviously it was disappointing to have the car damaged at the test, and with Thruxton being so high speed there's quite a bit of work to do,” he said. “The positives, however, are that the car showed such good pace even at the early stage of the test, so we're very confident for when we come here in April.
“Our test programme has been curtailed somewhat due to the recent snow in the UK as well as the incident at Thruxton, but fortunately we are using a car that has a lot of development history behind it, and we're not developing a new car without any data. The support we have from RML is great, so even if we didn't test again before the start of the season, we'll be right on the pace.”
Vaulkhard was also encouraged by the pace shown by the Lacetti in the brief foray onto the circuit, and said he was confident there had been more to come.
“The car felt really good and there was plenty more pace to come,” he said. “It would have only been a small moment if the track was clean, but as soon as I got on the dirty side of the track there was no stopping it.
“It was unfortunate and it shouldn't have happened. I had been through the same section of the track two laps before and had a bit of a moment, mainly because the track had not been swept before we used it and it was quite dirty. However this time I couldn't catch the car. When it went, it went like something had broken; except nothing was broken until I hit the barrier.” Pic credit: Marc Waller