Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship series director Alan Gow has confirmed that teams will be given an extra week of testing ahead of the start of the 2010 campaign.

The series' testing ban was due to come into place following the Brands Hatch Media Day next Tuesday, but teams will now be given extra time to test ahead of the season opener at Thruxton on Easter weekend.

The decision, taken as teams battle to put their programmes together against the backdrop of the economic downturn, will mean testing can now take place until 5pm on Wednesday 31 March.

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"It is clear that some teams and drivers are facing the prospect of arriving at our first event with less testing than they would have preferred," Gow said on the official series website "In many cases this is simply due to not having been able to finalise their deals until very late and/or not being able to prepare their cars in good time for some meaningful testing.

"I am fully sympathetic to this issue and have no desire to see some teams and drivers arrive at our first event without having had as much opportunity to test as possible.

"We have therefore decided that the date for the start of the testing restriction should be extended by eight days, meaning teams can now test until 5.00pm on Wednesday 31 March when the restriction will then come into play."