CarStore PMR ready for 2023 BTCC curtain raiser

CarStore Power Maxed Racing will begin its 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship campaign at Donington Park, Leicestershire, this weekend [22-23 April].

With a new season comes a fresh chapter for the multiple race-winning outfit, with the expansion to three cars, an all-new driver line-up, and a striking facelift to a livery that has become synonymous with fans of the UK’s premier tin-top series.

A blend of experience and up-and-coming talent behind the wheel is spearheaded by Aron Taylor-Smith, the four-time BTCC race winner making the switch to PMR in a bid to return to the sharp end of the grid.

Joining the Irishman is former sportscar ace Andrew Watson and Mikey Doble, the latter ready for his biggest career challenge to-date, and fresh from winning both the Ginetta GT5 and BMW Compact Cup titles in the same season.

Series rookies Watson and Doble will additionally have the Jack Sears Trophy honours to fight for, designed for drivers who enter the 2023 season without a BTCC podium to their name.

Their addition to the ranks, plus a few upgrades to the team’s ‘tried and tested’ Astras over the winter, have fuelled positivity within the camp as the CarStore-backed team plot a gradual return to the front of the grid.

In prospect this weekend is the first of two visits to Donington Park. Three action-packed races around the 1.96-mile National layout will lift the curtain on another 30-race BTCC season, with live and free-to-air television coverage available on ITV4.

Andrew Watson (#11) said:

“I’m really looking forward to getting the season started. It’s been quite a while since we announced the drive, so I’m itching to get stuck in and begin this new chapter of my career in the BTCC.

“The car is unlike anything I’ve ever driven before, and there’s a certain style of racing you need to master to be successful in the BTCC. But it’s an exciting process, testing has kicked everything off on a positive note, and I can’t wait to get going.”

Aron Taylor-Smith (#40) said:

“I’m buzzing to get to Donington Park this weekend. It’s an exciting new chapter in my BTCC career and, after such a positive start with the team during testing, I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can achieve this year.”

Mikey Doble (#88) said:

“I’ve definitely been most looking forward to this weekend. Racing in the BTCC is a long-held dream for me, so Donington Park this Sunday is a big milestone in my career.

“Having said that, it still boils down to all the fundamentals. It’s another car to learn, another championship to acclimatise to, and a grid of drivers that I want to ultimately be beating in the future, even if some are star names!”

Martin Broadhurst, Team Manager said:

“After a busy winter, it’s always exciting in the lead up to the first round of the new season. Everybody at HQ has been working tirelessly to extract the most from the cars, and to help our new driver line-up acclimatise, and I think all being said, we’re in good shape.

“Of course, at this level, the competition is always going to be fierce, but the main thing for us is that we continue to improve and chip away at the gap to the front of the field.

“Donington Park is a good, all-rounder circuit, and should give us a really good indication of where we are and where we can continue to build over the year ahead.”

Adam Weaver, Team Principal said:

“This will be the team’s ninth season competing in the BTCC, and I still get the same buzz before the first round now, as I did then.

“It’s been a really strong winter for us. We’re delighted to continue our relationship with several of our key partners, including CarStore, Evans Halshaw, SellYourCar and Pendragon, as well as welcome a whole host of new ones to the team.

“It’s been an exciting pre-season on-track too. The drivers are gelling with the team and with the car, and everything is in place for an enjoyable and competitive year of racing ahead.”