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Racing Calendar

Airwaves BMW looking to turn up the heat

Airwaves BMW

May 27th 2009

HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship
Rounds 10/11/12
Oulton Park, May 31st, 2009
Event Preview

Rob CollardThe Airwaves BMW team is hoping a sunny outlook will favour its championship challenge when it visits Oulton Park for the next round of the 2009 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship.

With temperatures predicted to soar over the race weekend of May 30/31, the Kent-based Airwaves squad is hoping to stay on the kind of hot form that saw it pick up another win and power to third overall in the championship standings following the previous round at rain-lashed Donington.

The picturesque Oulton Park circuit should suit the BMW 320si, with the rear-wheel drive machine able to use its superior traction to tackle the changing gradients and crests on the 2.26 mile layout, and the Airwaves team is confident it can once again deliver a strong performance at the Cheshire venue.

Rob Collard led the charge for Airwaves at the previous round, collecting his second win of the season and two more solid top-ten finishes.  The Hampshireman is having a standout season and is currently joint-third in the drivers' standings alongside reigning champion Fabrizio Giovanardi.  Collard will be going all out to strengthen his title bid at a track he has enjoyed success at in the past, and will hope to close the gap on Matt Neal at the top of the leaderboard.  Having made a series of stunningly quick getaways from the line his trademark, Collard knows that if he can qualify well at Oulton he will have a good chance of competing for the podium positions in almost every race.

Jonny Adam will also be confident he can impress at Oulton Park.  The BRDC Superstar has a great record at the circuit from previous years competing in Clios and SEATs, and will be hoping to add to his success there by picking up more strong results in the BTCC.  While he collected two good top-ten finishes in the previous round at Donington – before being unceremoniously removed from the track by an opponent while in second position in race three – the young Scot knows he is capable of challenging at the very front of the pack.  The Fifer believes that he is close to having learned how to get the most out of the BMW 320si, and can put that knowledge to good use on the sweeping hills and bends at Oulton.

Airwaves BMW Team Principal David Bartrum said:
"I'm looking forward to getting out at Oulton Park as it's a really great track and a scenic place too.  I've only got good memories of races we've had there so I'm hoping we can kick up a gear and bag even more points this weekend.  The quality of the grid this year is fantastic and that makes it harder to get results, but also much more satisfying when you do because you have really earned them.  I'm delighted that we keep progressing and we're always in the hunt for podiums now, despite facing stiffer competition than last year.  It's great to have so many people in the running for the championship and it just shows you how strong the BTCC is as a series when it can attract such a number of high quality entries."

Airwaves BMW driver Rob Collard said:
"Oulton Park is one of my favourite circuits in the calendar.  It probably has the most variety of any track we race at in terms of the different corner speeds, and that makes it a very interesting challenge from a driver's point of view.  I won the independents' cup there in 2003 so it only has good memories for me, hopefully I can make a few more this weekend.  I had a few issues at Oulton last year which was unfortunate but the car was very quick, so I think we will be able to build on that and show some really good pace on Sunday.  It's a circuit which suits the BMW so I'm confident we can keep our run of good form going and strengthen our position in the championship.  It's so competitive out there at the moment and there are so many good drivers in with a shout of winning races, but that just makes it even more exciting to be up there challenging for wins."

Airwaves BMW driver Jonny Adam said:
"I love Oulton Park as a circuit, it's a really enjoyable place to race.  I've always had good runs there before in other championships and there's no reason not to expect to do that again this weekend.  Rob and Steven Kane proved the 320si could be quick there last year, and I think we will be able to improve again this time round.  I came away from Donington feeling that I had learned a lot more about the car, and I know when it all clicks I can be challenging for podiums.  No one is running away with this championship because there are so many drivers capable of scoring wins, and I only need a couple of strong results to be back in the thick of things."

Event Information

Oulton Park Circuit
Little Budworth

Location:                        off the A49 from j18, M6 or j12, M53
Tel:                               01474 872331
Length:                          2.26 miles
Number of laps:              15
Race Distance:                33.90 Miles