Tom Ingram and Stockport-based Speedworks Motorsport made a statement of intent, setting fourth fastest time at the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship official test at Donington Park at the wheel of their Toyota Avensis.
On the back of announcing a deal welcoming Unipart Automotive on board as partner, Ingram and the squad revealed their 2016 livery for the world to see, as Series organisers announced that the BTCC will boast a record entry of 32 cars from the opening rounds at Brands Hatch in Kent on the 2/3 April.
Tom said: “We’ve had a few tests in it [since the end of last season], in Portugal, at Brands Hatch, an Donington. It’s seems like a step forward.
“We finished last year in very high spirits knowing that there was potentially a lot more to come, my goal is to try and get Speedworks to win the Independents title.”
Speedworks’ new signing Matt Simpson gained some valuable ‘dry’ track time during the Donington test, at the wheel of the Team’s Honda Civic Type-R, setting a time just a second off the fastest time at the official test.
Surrounded by his family at the Leicestershire track, Simpson set about gaining valuable experience as he moves from rear to front-wheel-drive, and completed no less than 60 laps of Donington’s National layout – where the Series will return for rounds 4,5 & 6 on the 16/17 April.
“Year one’s going to be a big learning curve, we know that, we’re just going to try and gain as much knowledge and experience as we can”, explained Matt. “It’s going to be tough, I need a big challenge, I’ve got a lot to learn, let’s see how we get on”.
Team boss Christian Dick admitted there was a lot to look forward to during 2016, though was mindful that it’s difficult to know what other Teams are up to during Testing.
He said: “We’ve put a lot of work in over the winter, we’re pretty comfortable and confident with where we’re at, and we’re finding little bits of time, all the time [with the new components], but of course we don’t really know what the benchmark is yet, and we won’t really know until we get to Brands.”