Andy Neate said he was pleased with the performance of his new Chevrolet Cruze after the IP Tech Race Engineering made its long-awaited Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship debut at Snetterton.
The team had originally been due to debut at Donington Park earlier in the year before being forced to delay its plans, with the race debut coming on the back of brief tests at both Snetterton and Mallory Park.
With his focus for the weekend being to make the most of the track time available, Neate qualified 23rd on the grid and then picked up a hat-trick of finishes on race day – with a best result of 16th in race three.
While that meant he missed out on a points finish first time out, Neate declared himself happy with a trouble-free run, with the team now aiming to move closer to the pace in the upcoming events.
“I'm absolutely delighted with the way the weekend has gone,” he said. “We've come here with a brand new car and have run six sessions on track without any problems, which is a fantastic achievement.
“We knew that running base boost would hamper our chances at a power circuit like Snetterton, but this weekend was more about testing and not chasing results. We've been able to run reliably, and the handling of the car has been fantastic. Through the twisty bits, the chassis felt great and the mid-corner speed has been hugely encouraging.”
Neate added that, while Knockhill next time out could a challenge, he was confident of being closer to the pace by the time the field heads to Rockingham for the eighth meeting of the season.
“We've made a number of positive changes to refine the car throughout the weekend and we'll now work on further improvements at Knockhill, which will be more of an opportunity for us to test.
“The boost levels won't hamper us as much there, apart from on the run out of the final corner, but with the things we have learned this weekend, I'm confident that when we go to Rockingham and the boost levels even themselves out, we'll have a strong package.”