Coming off the back of a season-best Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship performance at Donington Park, Simon Belcher is in buoyant mood as the series prepares to visit his 'home' track.

With a huge amount of support expected to travel from his home town for the third triple-header of the season, at Thruxton, the 40-year old is determined to maintain his unbroken finishing record and, more importantly, add to the Independents Trophy points he scored in round six last Sunday.

"Thruxton is the biggest meeting of the season for us and I can't wait to get out there on track next weekend," Belcher said, "As well as being one of my favourite circuits, and an unbelievable challenge for any driver, we'll be welcoming a huge number of sponsors, supporters and other guests so it's going to be our busiest weekend yet.

"So far, it's been an incredible experience being part of the BTCC. Even though I raced on the support package in the [Renault UK] Clio Cup in 2012 and 2013, nothing prepares you for the enormity of the championship and the incredible following it has - I'm loving every minute of it!"

Getting tantalisingly close to breaking into the top 20 on his touring car debut at Brands Hatch at the end of March, Belcher made a good step forward last time out at Donington - despite turbo issues in free practice putting his weekend on the back foot from the start - and managed to secure a pair of top 20 results in rounds five and six with a best finish of 18th position in the latter.

Thruxton is notorious as one of the toughest circuits to conquer in the UK so trouble-free running in both of the weekend's free practice sessions will be of vital importance. With the track surface at the ultra-fast 2.35-mile venue particularly abrasive too, a specially produced compound of Dunlop tyre will be utilised next weekend.

"As well as continuing to learn about the Avensis and improving the set-up, we'll have the 'Thruxton' tyres to get our heads around as well - another challenge into the mix," Belcher confirmed, "The main is to get as much track time as possible in free practice so we can establish a good base to work from into qualifying. If we can achieve that, I'm quietly confident we can edge further up the order."



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