Pinkney Motorsport launched its assault on the 2010 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship during the series' annual media day event at Brands Hatch.
Running under his own team name for the first time since winning the 1999 Vectra SRI V6 Challenge, David Pinkney will campaign an ex-works Vauxhall Vectra for the season ahead, with the car powered by the Next Generation Touring Car engine which will form the future of the BTCC from 2011 onwards.
The media day test on the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit gave Pinkney and the team the chance to run alongside their rivals for the first time, having previously tested the car at both Brands Hatch and Oulton Park in recent weeks. Resplendent in its eye-catching Pinkney colours, the team completed 66 laps during the course of the day – setting a best time of 49.392secs and lapping within a tenth of a second of the Pirtek Racing Vectra of Andrew Jordan during both the morning and afternoon. Jordan will be the only other driver on the grid to use the Swindon Engine-developed NGTC engine this season.
“I'm pleased to be back with my own team and we are lucky that Vauxhall's decision to pull out last year has allowed us to take on some of the guys who worked with Triple Eight last year and who know the car,” Pinkney said, “We were in the right place at the right time and are lucky that we can also call on a good pool of guys to help run the car this season.
“We've been running similar laps to Andy all day, and were within a tenth of a second of each other on the times, but there is a bit of a gap to the frontrunners, so we seem to be a bit under-powered at the moment. But the Vectra is a fantastic chassis – one of the best out there. It's a brilliant piece of kit and, through the corners in particular, it's an awesome car.”
Team manager Andrew Dean commented that it had been a constructive day as the team continues to learn about its new machine, with the focus now turning to the season-opener at Thruxton on Easter Sunday.
“It's been a constructive day for us, continuing to work together with Swindon Engines to understand more about the car and the engine,” he said, “We know the car has the capability, but we just need some more time to realise its full potential. This has been our first chance to gauge ourselves against the opposition, but I don't think that our rivals have shown their true hand. Thruxton will be an interesting season opener.”