Shaun Hollamby says he is hopeful that a switch to an NGTC-spec turbo engine will allow the AmD Milltek Racing to make forward progress in its second season in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
The team has already secured a boost ahead of the new campaign thanks to its tie-up with fans initiative YourRacingCar.com, which has allowed fans to sign up to support the team through the 2011 campaign.
Those fans to have signed up have already been offered discounted tickets to the BTCC's annual trip to Thruxton as one of the 'perks' of being a YRC member, while the team recently announced a special deal which will run throughout the season – giving fans the chance to enjoy hospitality at the circuit for as little as £35.
However, fan power isn't the only thing the team will benefit from in 2011 as it switches to a new engine which will go some way towards solving the main problem it faced last year when the engine fitted to its Volkswagen Golf was down on power compared to the rest of the field.
With the potential to increase horsepower noticeably with the new motor, Hollamby is now aiming to break into the points for the first time to take the 'fans car' higher up the pecking order in 2011.
“We should have the new engine soon and we plan to start testing with it in early March,” Hollamby said. “We are looking at a 40 to 50 horsepower increase and a similar torque amount, complete with a lot more from the bottom end of the engine. That usually equates to around 1.5-2 seconds a lap on some circuits and while I don't think we'll get all of that due to some issues of driveability that there is from running a turbo engine compared to a normally aspirated one, our aim is to get into the top ten consistently which will help to bring more sponsors on board, which is what we need to move this programme forwards.
“To be in the top ten consistently is an achievable target but it will mean a lot of hard work and I wouldn't say it would be easy by any stretch of the imagination. If you think about it, there at least four Fords, two Chevrolets, the two Hondas – so that is eight cars straightaway that we shouldn't be anywhere near.
“But despite us being down on power last year, what I can say is that we had one of the best handling cars on the grid and we now need to make the most of that and give it some more power. I have a feeling this little car could cause a few surprises in the pack.”