The name Hughes will appear on the side of MG in the BTCC in 2004, but the first name will be different. Jason Hughes and his Kartworld Racing team move from the production class with an MG for 2004 and Crash.net
went to meet him at his Lancashire base to find out more...
After racing in the BTCC for part of 2003, Kartworld Racing have the chance to fight with the big boys this season with a new car, and one that is a proven performer in the championship.
The team were able to put a deal together for an ex-works MG for the new season. Unlike the works cars, which this season are powered by a four cylinder engine, the Kartworld entry will use the V6 six cylinder engine that raced in 2003 coupled with a 2002 chassis.
Team owner, and driver, Jason Hughes is looking forward to the season ahead.
“Last year was a big step for us,” he said. “The Nissan was a good car when it was running right, but we suffered from entering half way through the season. We had to spend the rest of the season trying to develop the car rather than using the winter as we are doing with the MG now.
“At the end of the year we made a few calls and through John Bintcliffe [who had run the Nissan previously] we were able to set up a meeting with West Surrey and do a deal for one of their MGs. They'll help us out as much as they can but we are an Independent entry.”
Having had the chance to test the car, Hughes says it is a world away from the production car of last season and describes it as “something I've dreamt of driving for years.”
“It's a lot faster than the Nissan,” he explained. “It's also much easier to drive. It has a proper sequential gearbox and is a lot steadier on the track. In testing we've been trying out various different settings and we are pleased with the performance of the car. There's still more to come, but then again there is more to come from everybody.”
Because driver and team are new to the MG ZS, WSR are providing limited help with the car. At the Donington Park test on 16 March, Colin Turkington tried the Kartworld car out during a break from testing his own MG and Hughes admits the input his team has received has been extremely helpful.
“It's been brilliant,” he said. “With me not driving the car before I didn't know if it was handling as well as it could or if it was making noises it shouldn't. Colin can get in the car and do a few laps and tell me it's running