23rd August 2023

This weekend (26/27 August), CarStore Power Maxed Racing get ready to head to Donington Park for the next three rounds of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, after returning to the podium last time out at Knockhill.

A call to switch to wet-weather Goodyear tyres in a dry-damp opening race in Scotland paid dividends for the team’s trio of Andrew Watson, Aron Taylor-Smith, and Mikey Doble, elevating them through the order.

It enabled Watson to take a maiden BTCC podium in second, the team’s first since October 2021. Taylor-Smith would follow it up with an Independents win in the second contest, before Doble led the charge in the reverse grid finale.

As a result, the team make the short trip to Donington Park this weekend a solid second in the Independent Teams standings, and with Doble and Watson just a point apart, leading the Jack Sears Trophy runners.

It’s a special weekend for both circuit and championship, as the BTCC races on the full ‘Grand Prix’ layout for the first time in two decades.

Surprisingly, given the change in lap is only three corners, it adds a different set of challenges for the UK’s premier touring car category to navigate. This includes the fast left-right Foggarty Esses, another prime overtaking spot on the brakes into the Melbourne hairpin, and another tight hairpin at Goddards to close each lap.

Recent results, plus the team’s promising showing on the GP loop during the in-season Goodyear Tyre Test in July, have kept motivation high as the team continues to build back towards the front on a regular basis.

Competitive action begins with qualifying at 1540 on Saturday, while Sunday features the usual fare of three races, with lights out scheduled for 1145, 1445 and 1720 respectively.

Andrew Watson said: “I’m really looking forward to Donington Park this weekend. It’s probably the best prepared for a race I’ve been this year, because we’ve raced the National circuit already and had a good tyre test on the GP loop during the break.

“The car felt good on both those occasions, and Knockhill was such a strong weekend for the team, so confidence is definitely up.

“I’m learning more and more about front wheel drive, and racing in the BTCC all the time. Hopefully we can score some more good points and capitalise on the good spirits we’re all in. I’m looking forward to it!”

Aron Taylor-Smith said: “I’m in a great headspace going into Donington this weekend. Racing on the GP circuit is something that hasn’t been done in 20-odd years.

“We’re going back there off the back of a really strong test there in the summer break, where I felt like we progressed the Astra, and after our most successful weekend as a team at Knockhill, so the wind is very much in our sails.

“I’m going in more confident than ever. I know what the team, the car, myself are capable of, and I think we can put on a good fight this weekend. I’m feeling bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and excited to see what we can do!”

Mikey Doble said: “Donington GP is a very memorable circuit for me. I achieved many of my career milestones on this layout, including my first championship in car racing last year.

“I feel very confident on the cars pace heading into this weekend, as we showed great speed at the tyre test this summer. I am aiming for a strong Saturday performance to set us up well for some decent results in Sundays races and of course to increase my lead in the Jack Sears Trophy.” © 2024
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