John George believes that the new Mardi Gras Peugeot 406 is a "100 percent" improvement on the Honda Civic Type-R that the team started the BTCC season with.

Speaking to as the car made its racing debut at Croft, George said that his new LPG powered machine is a world away from the one he used in the first half of the season.

"It's 100 percent better," he said, "its immense. In first practice this morning the car was on old tyres and was only running on three cyclinders and I could still match the times I would have set in the Honda so that says it all. The Peugeot is a much better car."

In the second practice session of the morning George finished ahead of the Honda of Richard Marsh, the first time the gas powered car had been off the bottom of the timesheets. He was understandably pleased.

"That put a big smile on my face," he said, "It was very good. I wasn't really trying at that point. We were on very old rubber and we can go a lot quicker than that. I'd obviously like to stay in front of the Honda and our aim is to be within six seconds of pole position. If we can get within that, then it would be enough to stay on the lead lap in the race. Although that sounds like a ridiculous thing to aim for, we will start by aiming low and build from there."

The improvement in times continued in qualifying, with the Peugeot lapping a second quicker than in practice to qualify 20th on the grid, ahead of Marsh and under six seconds slower than pole sitter Anthony Reid. George was pleased to have hit his target for the session.

"I'm a really happy chap," he said. "The car went really well, it didn't miss a beat. We got a late tyre change a bit wrong but other than that it was great.

"The Honda [of Marsh] will have the edge on us at the start because we struggle off the line, but having just watched the Clio's I think we have a good chance - as long as we survive the first corner."