CarStore PMR look to swiftly bounce back at Snetterton

CarStore Power Maxed Racing make the trip to Snetterton, Norfolk this weekend [20-21 May] looking to regain their front-running form in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.

After a bright start to the 2023 campaign at Donington Park last month, the Bidford-on-Avon team’s recent visit to Brands Hatch put a dent in the team’s aspirations to win both the Independent Teams title and Jack Sears Trophy a fortnight ago.

A myriad of external factors, including problems on and off-track, conspired to limit the team’s three Vauxhall Astra challengers to a solitary points finish, courtesy of Aron Taylor-Smith, but the team arrives at Snetterton’s 300 circuit refreshed and ready to begin the fightback.

The 2.99-mile venue offers an ‘all-rounder’ challenge, with flowing, technical sections that are well-suited to the inherent chassis capabilities of the Astra, as well as two long straights that offer ample overtaking opportunities.

The team has one previous podium finish at the venue – with Josh Cook back in 2018 – but will be looking to add to that tally with the ‘new-look’ 2023 line-up of Taylor-Smith and promising rookies Andrew Watson and Mikey Doble.

Saturday features two practice sessions to help the trio get dialled in, before the all-important qualifying session at 15:40 (BST). For this weekend, the format reverts to the previous 30-minute timed session to set the grid for the opening race, with no top-ten shootout as at Donington and Brands Hatch.

Headlining the bill on Sunday are three, ITV4-televised races, with lights out scheduled for 11:25, 14:35 and 17:15 respectively.

Andrew Watson (#11) said:

“Looking ahead to Snetterton, I’m looking forward to the weekend and aiming to get things back on track. After a good start to the season, we lost out a bit at Brands Hatch, in terms of points, and it was a difficult weekend all round.

“I know the team at CarStore Power Maxed Racing have been working hard since to make sure the Vauxhall Astra is in good shape, and we’re back in the mix at the sharp end this weekend.

“I haven’t been to Snetterton in a long time, so I’m looking forward to going round there again, and getting back out in the car. I’m really enjoying my time in the BTCC so far – even just the number of races per weekend is fantastic.

“My confidence is only growing every time, and I’m optimistic about what we can achieve this weekend. Scoring points and getting back to the top of the Jack Sears Trophy is definitely the ambition.”

Aron Taylor-Smith (#40) said:

“Heading to Snetterton, I feel like we’re in a really good position with our CarStore Power Maxed Racing Astras.

“We had an excellent first race weekend across the team, and even at Brands amongst some misfortune, we showed the potential that the car has, especially in qualifying trim.

“I think we would have had the pace to challenge on race day if it weren’t for a few issues, which were outside the team’s control – but that’s life. The short, two-week turnaround is always nice, because you can identify the areas to improve and then almost immediately apply that out on track.

“Snetterton has always been a kind circuit for myself, I’ve had a handful of podiums there, challenged for wins, so I’m confident it suits my driving style. It’s also a good circuit for the Astra, historically, so there’s no reason why we can’t be challenging up front and enjoying a better weekend.”

Mikey Doble (#88) said:

“I’m really looking forward to getting this underway at Snetterton this weekend, and to continue building on what has been a positive start to my BTCC career.

“I feel increasingly confident in what I’m doing in the car, and off-track within the team to continue pushing us further up the grid.

“Snetterton is a circuit I really enjoy driving, and one that I’ve had numerous successes at in the past. I think it’s somewhere that always produces great racing, and I can’t wait to be in the thick of it again this weekend.”

Martin Broadhurst, Team Manager said:

“We had a lot to unpack from Brands Hatch. As there always is, whether you’re winning or not, there were some things as a team we could take away and analyse to make sure we come back at Snetterton this weekend in a stronger position, which we’ve gone through.

“But that said, a lot of what happened at Brands was down to external factors out of our control. When that happens, all we can do as a unit is stay positive, keep gelling together and keep working towards the next event.

“We’re on such a good trajectory between the drivers and the engineering team, and we have good people within the camp all keen to get back trackside and showcase what these Astras can do at Snetterton.”

Adam Weaver, Team Principal said:

“It would have been really easy for the entire team to get demoralised after a tough trip to Brands Hatch, but I’m delighted to say that hasn’t been the case – if anything, it’s given everybody a bit of extra motivation to get to Snetterton and bounce back straight away.

“It’s a long season in the BTCC, and a very competitive field – put simply, it’s just not possible to be at the front every weekend, and every team will have it’s ‘off weekend’ at some point. A lot of things happen you can’t legislate for, and once in a while, something will sting. That’s how the sport goes!

“Hopefully that’s our bad luck out of the way now, and we can get back to mixing it at the sharp end of the field at Snetterton this weekend.”