Lea Wood is to get the opportunity to sample the Speedworks Motorsport team's Toyota Avensis for a second time during its first pre-season test ahead of the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season, it has been confirmed.
The 28-year-old, who tested with Speedworks back in November, will fly out to Portugal today [Monday] for the two-day test at the Portimao circuit, where he will drive the team's second NGTC-spec Toyota. Dave Newsham will also be in action in the car he will race during the year ahead, having carried out a shakedown of both Speedworks cars at Blyton last week.
Wood has competed in the BTCC with his own family run team for the past three seasons and finished 14th in the championship standings last year; his best result being fifth place at Oulton Park.
The test this week will give him the opportunity to gain more time behind the wheel of a Next Generation Touring Car as he works towards a drive for the 2013 season, with the second Speedworks seat alongside Newsham being one option for the year ahead.
“I had the chance to test with Speedworks last year and it went well, so it's good to have the opportunity to go to Portugal and spend more time with them this week,” he said. “This season I'd really like to get into a NGTC car and have been talking to the team about possibly doing a deal, so it's a no-brainer for me to take up the opportunity to go and spend two days behind the wheel.
“As it was very cold when we tested at Donington, I'm looking forward to seeing what the Toyota can do in better weather conditions and hopefully I can give the team some good feedback on the car that will help them for the season ahead.
“Things are tight for everyone when it comes to putting a budget together but I'd love to have the chance to race with Speedworks this season and if I am able to put together a deal to get in the car, the time I'll be spending in the Toyota this week could prove to be vital.”
Speedworks boss Christian Dick said he was pleased to be able to confirm a second driver to join Newsham for the Portuguese trip, with the team hoping to benefit from his experience during the two-day test.
“Lea is one of the drivers we are speaking to about the second car, but as ever, it is down to budget,” he said. “However, when it comes to the test this week, we have two cars and it would have made no sense to leave one back at base and only bring Dave's car out to Portugal; we need them both on track to maximise the time we have available to us.
“Lea has experience of racing in the BTCC, has shown that he is quick and has driven the Toyota before, so he was the perfect choice to come out and join us this week. We're looking forward to having him onboard for a few days and we'll see what happens beyond that.”