CarStore Power Maxed Racing celebrate 250th BTCC start at Knockhill
CarStore Power Maxed Racing will celebrate its landmark 250th start in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship when the series visits Knockhill this weekend [12-13 August].
The Bidford-on-Avon-based team has been competing at the front of the BTCC for almost a decade now, stretching back to its debut with a pair of Chevrolet Cruze challengers for Dave Newsham and Josh Cook back in 2015.
Fast forward two seasons, and the team successfully re-introduced the iconic Vauxhall marque to the grid. A first victory followed a year later through Senna Proctor, and since then, the team has added three further wins, plus achieved a total of 21 podium finishes to establish itself as a fighting force in the UK’s premier touring car category.
The opening race of the weekend at Knockhill will be the team’s 250th start, with the current line-up of Aron Taylor-Smith, Andrew Watson and Mikey Doble keen to mark the occasion with another fine result, as the team enjoys something of a renaissance in recent times.
The annual trip to the 1.27-mile Fife circuit will also mark the next chapter in the team’s push for both the Independent Teams and Jack Sears Trophy titles, after taking another step forward at Croft a fortnight ago.
Doble claimed a second victory in-class of the season to propel himself to the top of the standings in Yorkshire, with Watson similarly on-form to bounce back from a tricky qualifying into the points. He now occupies second spot, four points behind Doble.
Taylor-Smith isn’t eligible for Jack Sears honours, but the Irishman also enjoyed a starring role, with a hat-trick of points finishes – including a brace of top-tens – keeping the team within striking range in the Independent Teams’ standings, the gap to the top currently 46 points.
Characterised by its rapid changes in gradient and fast, unforgiving nature, Knockhill is a true test of both driver and machine. There are three major overtaking spots to watch out for, the first as the cars head down Duffus Dip and brake for the right-hander at McIntyre’s.
A good exit out of the uphill Black Circles chicane can then tee up a move into Clark’s, and then last – but certainly not least – on the brakes into the final hairpin. Based around 20 miles from Edinburgh, on the right day, with the weather ‘on-side’, it’s even possible to see the iconic Forth Bridge framed as a backdrop to three thrilling contests on-track.
As usual, Sunday’s action will broadcast live and free-to-air on ITV4 in the UK, with lights out for the three races at 11:45, 14:40 and 17:20 respectively.
Andrew Watson (#11) said:
“Knockhill’s a circuit that I love driving, and I’m really excited to tackle it in a touring car – I think it’s the perfect machine for the layout.
“It’s somewhere I’ve always done well at in my Ginetta days, so it’ll be great to be back. We’re still figuring out a few things we need to work on – qualifying has let us down a bit, that last couple of races, so I’m looking forward to ironing that out and being back in the fight.
“The car should be good there, there are certain characteristics to our package that are very strong. Our pace last time at Croft was very encouraging, so I’m looking forward to getting back to having my elbows out and enjoying life in the BTCC.”
Aron Taylor-Smith (#40) said:
“Knockhill has always been one of my favourite tracks. It’s a circuit that I’ve always gone well at, right from my first season in touring cars.
“I always seem to gel with the circuit, and it’s one of those tracks that really suits me style. You have to be confident and aggressive with the car, and know when to attack and when to be patient.
“From what I’ve experienced so far this year in the Vauxhall Astra, it should go well there, and I would say we have a fighting chance. Confidence should be very high after the progression we’ve made recently, so we’ve got the momentum on our side.
“The local crowd there are always fantastic too – it’s a round I always really look forward to every year – so hopefully we can go up there and put on a great show for everyone.”
Mikey Doble (#88) said:
“Whatever I’ve raced in, a weekend at Knockhill has always been among the highlights of a season for me.
“I really enjoy the challenges that it, as a circuit, presents and it always produces incredibly close racing.
“The Scottish crowd are always very enthusiastic, so hopefully we can reward them with a great show, and selfishly, I’d like to be up there and scoring some great results!
“My aim for the weekend, specifically, would be to extend the lead in the Jack Sears Trophy, so that’s priority number one.”
Martin Broadhurst, Team Manager said:
“Knockhill is a fantastic venue, and definitely one of our favourites as a team on the BTCC calendar each year.
“We’re arriving in a really good stretch of form at the moment, so the key for us will be extending that, and building on it, if we can.
“Everybody’s fantastic work paid off at Croft last time out, when we are able to get the Jack Sears lead, so now it’s about extending that, and hopefully making up some ground in the Independent Teams’ standings too.”
Adam Weaver, Team Principal said:
“It doesn’t feel like yesterday we were lining up on the grid for our first race in the BTCC, but 249 later – here we are, and I’m really looking forward to Knockhill this weekend.
“We’ve had some fantastic highs and lows in our last eight years as a team, but we’re on a really positive run right now, and our first priority as a team this weekend is to make sure we keep pushing on getting the best from the Vauxhall Astra.
“We’re looking forward to it – even the drive up – and I can’t wait to see our fantastic partners there too cheer us on to what will, hopefully, be another good set of results.”