John George says he is hopeful of springing some surprises during the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship season after exorcising his Brands Hatch demons during the opening round of the new season.

George saw his 2008 season finish in dramatic style after he barrel-rolled out of the final race weekend of the year but quickly showed that the accident was firmly behind him as he posted his quickest ever time round the short Indy circuit to secure 13th place on the grid for the opening race.

Unfortunately, race day didn't quite go to plan when the TH Motorport with JAG driver was forced out on the opening lap of race one after going into the gravel at Clearways, while he also retired from race two after picking up damage following contact with one of his rivals.

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Although he finally picked up a finish in race three, a clutch issue led to a slow start and a 14th place finish, although the Cornish driver said there was plenty of encouragement to take away from the weekend.

"I am really pleased with the way things went," he said. "I can take a bit of bad luck, we were quick enough to do some real damage in the top ten. I would rather be quick and have bad luck then be slow and need good luck to get anywhere.

"We have only had the car for about three weeks and it has been sitting in a workshop for three years doing nothing so I suppose rubber seals and the like will perish once we start using them, now we know the team will strip them out and change them. To put it in prospective we were second quickest Honda today in a car that was built in 2005. Once we really get on top of the car, I think we can really surprise a few people."