Team Halfords aims to drive forward in 2009.

Team Halfords team manager Oly Collins says his team will aim to be faster and tougher during the 2008 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship season.

The Team Dynamics-run squad won on five occasions with its Honda Civic last season despite the fact the car underwent virtually no pre-season testing ahead of its debut campaign, with Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal ending up third and fourth in the championship standings.

Now however, the team has been able to conduct extensive testing over the winter with Collins confident that the double champions will reap the rewards off the work carried out over the off-season.

"The targets for 2008 are to simply be faster and tougher," he said. "We believe it will be a hard season where reliability and consistency will be as important as outright pace.

"Fortunately we are starting with a very good, fast base product. The Honda Civic was outstanding towards the middle and latter part of the last year, so it has been a case of fine-tuning as opposed to completely re-designing the car."

Shedden was one of the stars of the 2007 season despite seeing his title challenge derailed by a number of problems during the year. Now, with a season of experience with the car under his belt, the Scot admits that he is aiming to fight for the title in the BTCC's 50th anniversary season.

"After last year where we came to the first race with literally zero testing, it is absolutely fantastic to be able to try so many different scenarios on all areas of the car," he said. "We will certainly be coming into this season in a much stronger position. If you look at our statistics last year we didn't finish in 15 races and still came third and fourth in the championship, that's pretty impressive for a brand new car!

"I can't wait to get out there now and start fighting for podium positions and, most importantly, the driver and teams championships."

Neal meanwhile is replaced in the team by former Honda and Vauxhall factory driver Tom Chilton who admitted he has been impressed by his experience of the S2000 Civic so far.

"That orange colour makes the car look fast without it even turning a wheel!" he joked. "My testing has gone very well and the team has given me lots of laps to get acclimatised to the car. I love it and love being back in a Honda.

"I've worked very closely with the team to achieve the goal we all want, more speed. The engineers have blown me away with their vast knowledge and people skills. People make companies and we have all the right people in what is a very closely knit team! Put that together with the Honda and we have a very reliable package; and that's what wins championships."