Paul O’Neill and John George are today testing a Tech-Speed-run Chevrolet Cruze at Brands Hatch – triggering speculation they will each race one of the title-winning cars in this year’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
Widnes-based O’Neill, a proven race-winner in the BTCC, and George were team-mates last year in older BTC-spec Tech-Speed-prepared Honda Integras.
A switch to the much more modern Cruze, last year’s title-winning car in the hands of Jason Plato and the RML squad, would almost certainly give O’Neill a chance of podium finishes and race wins on a regular basis.
O’Neill is pictured in the car – which has appeared painted in plain purple – in the Brands pit lane this morning.
However, it must be stressed that no official announcement has yet been made by Tech-Speed regards its 2011 line-up.
O’Neill did, though, tell btcc.net this morning: “It’s very exciting to be spending a day testing not just a race-winning but the title-winning car from last year, particularly for myself and Tech-Speed – we’ve been together for many years and have always run a small but very efficient set-up that has produced some terrific results with competitive but older-spec cars.
“But here, finally, we’re getting a chance to see what we can do with not just the very latest type of car but arguably the best there is with the Cruze. So many people are trying to ensure this all goes ahead and the sponsors including sunshine.co.uk are being massively supportive – fingers crossed things all come together as it’s got all the makings of a magical season for us.”
Also scheduled to be in action at Brands today are reigning champion Plato and Alex MacDowall in RML Chevrolet Cruzes (the latter having announced yesterday that he’s re-signed for the team), Team Aon – giving Ford’s new ‘Global’ Focus model its maiden run – plus the Honda Racing Team which will be testing its Neil Brown-tuned NGTC-spec turbo engine for the first time. In addition, local outfit Airwaves Racing with its 2010 Focus as well as Vauxhall and SEAT independents Pirtek Racing and Special Tuning Racing are expected to be present.