Arkas Racing with Sunshine.co.uk technical director Brian Ashwood has admitted he is confident that 2008 will be a good season for the second-year HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship team.

Having run a single car in 2007 for Turkish Touring Car champ Erkut Kizilirmak, the team expands to run two Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatches for the season ahead, with Erkut being joined in the team by fellow Independent runner Martyn Bell.

While business commitments back in his homeland have prevented Erkut from taking part in any of the pre-season tests that the team has completed thus far, Bell has been able to run at Snetterton, Rockingham and Brands Hatch as he prepares for his first season of racing with front-wheel drive.

With Bell having made solid progress during his running to date, Ashwood said he felt confident that the team would be able to build on its results from the 2007 season where Erkut was able to finish inside the top ten in the Independents' championship standings in his first full season in the BTCC.

"We're confident 2008 can be a very good year for Arkas Racing with Sunshine.co.uk and we're delighted to have two cars out there" he said. "It's great to have Martyn onboard and during the course of the last three tests the team has certainly gelled well.

"It's a shame Erkut hasn't been able to join us for any pre-season testing due to his business commitments so it's going to be tough for him to get up to speed quickly at Brands Hatch with just two free practice sessions before qualifying.

"Nonetheless, we're very positive about the year ahead and the whole team is really looking forward to it."