Team Aon team principal Mike Earle says his Ford team is looking forward to the third rounds of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship at Donington Park after an intense period of development on the new Focus ST.

The Arena-run outfit has struggled for straight line speed at both Brands Hatch and Thruxton, with drivers Tom Chilton and Alan Morrison yet to score after six races.

However, the team has since worked hard on the engine, aerodynamics and suspension of the Focus, which will undergo a day of testing at Pembrey prior to the weekend to evaluate the changes made.

"We are looking forward to Donington and are very pleased the event was not postponed, as appeared possible until last week," Earle said. "We have been burning the midnight oil to introduce new parts and to develop our cars using all the information we have gathered from the season's first two events.

"Since Thruxton we have managed to get a car in a wind-tunnel and to spend some time analysing suspension geometry on a K & C rig. In an ideal world we would have completed these tasks much earlier, but with our deal coming together so close to the beginning of the season, this is the only possibility we had open to us.

"We have learnt a tremendous amount with these processes and together with some engine development work that was always scheduled, we are confident that at Donington we will show a step forwards in our performance. We need the races at Donington to see exactly how far we have progressed."

Despite the challenging start to the new season, Earle took time to praise his team for the work it has put in so far in developing the new Focus and said he would have understood if heads had dropped after the trying times endured through the first two events of the year.

"I'm delighted with the attitude of everyone in the team, who have worked tirelessly to move our programme along and that includes the drivers - Tom and Alan who have been tremendous," he said. "They have never let their heads drop when it would have been understandable if they had."


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