Hi guys, and welcome to my first blog for Crash.net.

Throughout the season, I'll be keeping you up to date with behind the scenes information and trying to give you an insight into the life of a driver in the British Touring Car Championship.

2011 is already hotting up to be one hell of a season. We haven't even started yet and the internet is awash with talk about turbos, NGTC, plenty of new entrants and lots of new cars on the grid. I think this season is going to be one to remember - full of diversity and lots of turbo charged action.

Having learnt a lot from a challenging last season, I have been away preparing like never before to really make my mark in this years championship. I'm sure every driver is coming out with a similar statement at this time of year, but my physical preparations have never been more focused and finding the right seat has been paramount.

Physically, I'm in the best shape of my racing career. 15 laps of bumper to bumper action takes it toll mentally and physically and I've been focusing on increasing my core body strength and my shoulders. It's a fine balance, wanting to increase my strength and muscle but without adding too much weight! Currently my favourite and most dreaded exercise sees me spinning for what seems like forever. As for my other preparations, I have been plugged into the Playstation 3 keeping my hand in at the BTCC circuits, the only spanner in the works is the remodelled Snetterton. I think I'm going to have to get out on my bike for that one, but all us drivers will be in the same boat this year.

January saw me taking part in the 24 Hour Race of Dubai in a Honda Integra alongside James Kaye, Mark Lemmer, Mike Brown and Jason O'Keeffe. It was a great experience to race through the night and it gave me a chance to hone my skills ahead of the BTCC season, which thankfully weren't too rusty as I managed to qualify the car on pole and set the fastest lap of the race. The whole experience was fantastic, despite a small shunt in the first few hours which resulted in a number of technical issues and a swift engine change that cost us a podium, but that's racing for you!

As a touring car driver this season, there is so much scope and choice - do you go for a turbo charged unit or a naturally aspirated engine? How will last year's data compare and will it be of any use? Who will be my team-mate and which team can offer what?

For me, some of the questions have been answered and I'm absolutely delighted to announce that I will be driving for Triple 8 Race Engineering again this year. As mentioned previously, last season had its challenges but the experience will stand us in very good stead for this year. Ian Harrison runs a first class outfit and with some of the finest crew in the pit lane, we have high hopes for a successful year.

The next question is what car will I be driving and what engine will it run? Log on and keep checking my blog as more details will be announced shortly!

Until next time, drive safely.
James Nash #14

 

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