Liam McMillan has set himself the target of reaching the chequered flag as many times as possible as he gears up for his HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship debut.

The 19-year-old graduates to the series in 2009 after plying his trade in the one-make SEAT Leon series for two years, where he will race an ex-Jason Plato SEAT Toledo under his privately owned Maxtreme banner.

So far, testing has gone fairly well for McMillan as he eases himself into BTCC competition, even if his lap times at the recent Brands Hatch test were been stymied by gearbox problem, while he only recently had the chance to sample this year's Dunlop control tyre.

Nonetheless, McMillan is confident he can challenge for top ten positions, and points, over the course of the year, even if his primary aim is merely to reach the finish and gather experience.

"After a good winter's test programme, I'm in good shape and ready for the start of the British Touring Car Championship," he said. "I'd like to try and finish in the top ten all year really and I want to try and finish every race. That will enable me to gain a lot of experience - and you can't do that if you're sitting in a gravel trap!

"Testing has gone well, and the final test at Brands Hatch was the best yet. We worked on different set-ups and ran with the maximum 70 kilos of ballast on board; we don't know what the other teams were doing or how heavy or light they were running, but we were pleased with what we achieved.

"We've been testing on last year's tyres, but at the end of our last test at Brands we put a set of the 2009 Dunlop control tyres on and immediately we were a lot faster. We've found out that the new tyre gives thirty percent more grip than the old one did and with them on we were pulling 2G on some of the corners at Brands Hatch, whereas before the g-forces only measured 1.3.

"I'm all set for the BTCC and I'm looking forward to my first race weekend. Racing against professional drivers like Fabrizio Giovanardi and the top independent teams will be difficult, but it's something I've dreamt about doing for many years and I'm ready for the challenge. I can't wait to get out there!"


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