CarStore PMR return to happy Brands Hatch hunting ground

CarStore Power Maxed Racing return to action in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch, Kent this weekend [6-7 May].

The Bidford-on-Avon-based team made a strong start to the 2023 campaign at Donington Park a fortnight ago, qualifying for the top-ten shootout through Andrew Watson.

He and team-mates Aron Taylor-Smith and Mikey Doble then all scored top-ten finishes in race trim on an eventful weekend in the East Midlands to round out one of the team’s strongest opening rounds to-date.

The flying start marked a notable return to form for the Vauxhall squad, and the team arrives at Brands Hatch’s 1.2-mile Indy circuit at the top of both the Independent Teams Championship and the Jack Sears Trophy, courtesy of Watson.

It’s a venue that holds fond memories for the team, having been the stage of a dramatic maiden victory back in 2018, with Senna Proctor gambling correctly on slick tyres to rise from 27th to win on a damp but drying surface.

More recently, it was also the scene of the team’s last victory, a controlled drive out front from two-time champion, Jason Plato.

The Indy circuit, by its short, sharp nature often provides ultra-close racing, and qualifying can be crucial, with the entire grid often lapping within the same second. Finding a space in traffic to get a clear lap in can often be the difference between starting up front, or in the midfield.

Sunday’s triple header of races are scheduled to get underway at 11:50, 14:30 and 17:15 respectively with live, free-to-air television coverage available on ITV4.

Andrew Watson (#11) said:

“I’m looking forward to Brands Hatch this weekend. Compared to the opening round, we now know that we should be fighting inside that top ten, so that gives us a clear target in mind to aim for and build towards.

“We know we can be near the front, which is great. The team are in confident spirits, so there’s no reason we can’t pick up our momentum from Donington and go even better this time around.

“It’s a different compound of tyre this weekend too, the hybrid system will come into play a bit more and level out the field too, so it should be an action-packed weekend. There’s no reason it can’t be another great weekend, results-wise.”

Aron Taylor-Smith (#40) said:

“I’m beyond excited to continue this journey CarStore Power Maxed Racing and I are on at Brands Hatch this weekend.

“We had a very successful opening weekend for the entire team, and I think we can carry that momentum on this time around and be even closer to the front.

“Brands has always been a kind circuit to me in the past. We’ve had a handful of podiums there and challenged for a few wins, so I know I can hit the ground running.

“I think we’ve got the wind in our sails, and I’m heading in full of optimism, of hope for what we can achieve, and I’m just looking forward to being in the fight again.

“We’ve continued to focus on developing the car even since Donington, so we should be in a good position, and I can’t wait to put on a show on ITV4 this Sunday.”

Mikey Doble (#88) said:

“Brands Hatch is my home circuit, so it’s going to be very special to race in front of my local crowd this weekend.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what the car and I can deliver around a track I have had a lot of success at in previous years and other categories. It’s probably my favourite circuit on the calendar, so I can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Martin Broadhurst, Team Manager said:

“We’ve been quietly confident all winter that we would arrive at Donington with a competitive package but seeing that unfold in actuality has given the entire team a massive boost as we turn our focus to Brands Hatch.

“It’s always been a strong circuit for the car, and we have three drivers who all have good track records here and felt positive during pre-season testing.

“Making incremental improvements is the name of the game in this championship, with how tightly-packed the field is. That’s no more apparent than at Brands, with such a short layout. It’s going to be competitive, but we’re all up for the fight.”

Adam Weaver, Team Principal said:

“The number of positive messages we received, in person and on social media, at Donington was a real testament to how much everybody in the team has worked to put us back in a position to be competitive in the BTCC.

“It’s important we stay grounded, don’t get too carried away and keep chipping away at the bigger teams. Brands Hatch plays to the strengths of our Astras, and the drivers are all feeling settled and confident, so on paper, it should be another positive step towards that goal.”