Having enjoyed a taster of the World Touring Car Championship last season, Tom Boardman insists his focus is on securing the Independents' Trophy crown as he prepares to start the 2009 season in Brazil.
Boardman, who raced at Estoril last season thanks to his success in the SEAT Leon Eurocup, will rejoin the SUNRED Engineering team for the season ahead; with the Spanish outfit having run his Leon TFSi during his one-off run last year.
The Briton will line-up alongside former Independents' title winner Tom Coronel for the season ahead in what looks like being a strong indy field – which also includes another former winner in the shape of Stefano D'Aste and ex-works BMW racer Felix Porteiro.
However, despite the level of competition, Boardman said he was firmly focused on beating the established names to lift the title.
“My aim this year is to win the Independents' World title – that's what I'm going there to do,” he said. “The competition is very good, not least my own team-mate, Tom Coronel, who is a former champion, but I think we can do it. The aim is to try and finish each race in the points and avoid non-points scoring results. Of course I'm going to push as hard as I can and try to win the Independents' category in each race and try and score the best overall results I can, but from round one of the series in Brazil onwards I'll be thinking of the title.
“I'm really looking forward to starting my first full season in the FIA World Touring Car Championship. I feel I'm ready for it. I've raced on half of the circuits in the calendar before and I don't think it will be a disadvantage going to the others for the first time, because I've always been able to learn a new track very quickly.
“I've really focused on getting mentally and physically ready for the start of the season, and I'm better prepared now than I have ever been. I've been going to the gym every day and I've been learning the Curitiba circuit every night on my new RACE Pro Xbox 360 game – and the first thing I'm going to do when I get to Brazil is combine the two and go for a jog around the circuit!”