VX Racing On A High As BTCC Returns To The UK

VX Racing heads back to the UK for round seven of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton on the 7th August confident in its race-winning form. An outstanding performance at the last round at Mondello Park, with three out of three wins, saw VX Racing regain its accustomed dominance on track. The team now move to the Norfolk track eager to concrete its lead in the manufacturers' championship and make up ground in the drivers' and team championships.

VX Racing has an impeccable pedigree at Snetterton. The team has qualified on pole for every BTCC event held at the circuit since 2001, and finished on the podium in every race, bar one, for the last four years. Last year, VX Racing claimed the touring car lap record at the track in qualifying, and picked up two wins and two podium positions on the way to the triple-title success.

VX Racing returns to Snetterton confident it can uphold its record after five wins in the last six races. The VX Racing Astra Sport Hatch is now mid-way through its first season of competition, and after some disappointing results in the early stages of development, is competitive and well- balanced through corners and bends.

Yvan Muller's two wins in Ireland closed the gap to the top of the drivers' championship to just 13 points, and with 15 points for a win, and four rounds remaining, the title chase could well go down to the wire: "The VX Racing Astra Sport Hatch is now working very well and we have the balance and speed to stay at the front. The twisty sections at Snetterton should suit the car, although we may find it hard down the straights with the 36 kilos of ballast we are carrying. But it's very close in the championship, and we must fight to the end."

VX Racing new recruit Colin Turkington picked up his second win of the year in front of his home crowd in Mondello, and looks forward to the event in which he has previously picked up a good points haul. " Snetterton is a grand track, and the straights give lots of opportunities for slipstreaming into the corners at the end. I've had some good results there, and with the Astra Sport Hatch performing so well at the moment, I hope I can continue. VX Racing was determined to get back to its winning form of previous years, and now we've done it, we don't want to let it go!"

Although Gavin Smith has limited experience at the Norfolk circuit, he travels to Snetterton with renewed optimism following improvements in the balance of the VX Racing Astra Sport Hatch and encouraging races at Mondello Park, "I'm really looking forward to Snetterton. I now know I can challenge for positions and hope to get some good results, maybe even a podium. Anything is possible; we've made steps in the right direction, the balance is good and I feel confident in the car."

Snetterton will host the seventh race weekend of the 2005 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship on 6 and 7 August 2005. VX Racing is aiming to extend its lead in the manufacturers' championship and improve its standings in the drivers' and team championships. The team is currently second in the team championship, with Muller second in the drivers' championship, Turkington fifth and Smith in tenth place.

Hot Facts

VX Racing holds both the qualifying and race lap records for the BTCC. In 2004 James Thompson set a time of one minute 11.588 seconds in qualifying, and went on to set the fastest lap in the race the next day, one minute 12.287 seconds

Yvan Muller has finished on the podium at Snetterton six times since 2001, but only once on the top step, in 2002 in the feature race

Colin Turkington does not expect his band of loyal fans at this round. At Mondello he was surprised when his friends from Stirling University sported ' Turkington No 6' t-shirts!

Gavin Smith makes his BTCC debut at Snetterton, although he has raced at the track previously, in 2002 he competed in the Formula 3 races at the track.

Published 31 July 2005 Melanie Carter

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