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Racing Calendar

Airwaves BMW targets thruxton thriller

Airwaves BMW

April 17th 2009

HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship
Rounds 5/6/7
Thruxton, April 26th, 2009
Event Preview

Rob Collard Brands HatchHome advantage will play a key role once again for Airwaves BMW as it looks to strengthen its 2009 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship challenge.

Thruxton is the next venue for the UK's premier motor racing series – and the Hampshire track is also the local circuit of Airwaves BMW driver Rob Collard.

Two weeks ago Collard scored the first-ever win for Airwaves BMW in the opening round of the series at Brand Hatch, the team's 'home' race, and he will be looking to repeat the feat on territory that is very familiar to him.  The experienced racer is based in Eversley, just a few miles from Thruxton Circuit.  Collard has raced there countless times and scored wins in a number of different championships throughout his career – including Formula Ford, the Vauxhall Vectra championship and the BTCC.  With a huge following of family, friends and a noisy partisan crowd behind him Collard will be looking to secure a healthy points haul and improve on his third place position in the drivers' championship standings.

Following his spectacular start to life in the BTCC, Airwaves BMW driver Jonny Adam has been knuckling down to some hard training.  Having dominated race three at Brands Hatch and taken the chequered flag in his debut BTCC event, only to be demoted to second after being handed a time penalty, the young Scot is leaving no stone unturned in his preparations for the remainder of the season.  As a member of the BRDC Superstars scheme Adam has access to some of the best training facilities and instructors in the country, and has spent the past week taking full advantage of the support on offer.  The 24-year-old underwent a rigorous conditioning and fitness assessment at Oxford University Sports Complex to ensure he is in tip-top shape for tin-top racing.  He will once again look to underline his talent back on track at Thruxton by challenging the big names for podium positions.

Thruxton is renowned as one of the fastest tracks on the BTCC calendar, and presents a huge challenge for drivers as they go wheel-to-wheel at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour.  The 2.36 mile circuit has not always favoured the rear-wheel drive BMW 320si, with Vauxhalls dominating proceedings in recent seasons.  However, after an outstanding start to the 2009 campaign at Brands Hatch the Airwaves BMW squad will be hopeful of building on its fine form and securing more points towards its title challenge.

Airwaves BMW Team Principal David Bartrum said:
"Obviously we were delighted to get off to such a good start at Brands Hatch and secure our first win.  That has given us some real momentum to take to Thruxton and an incentive to really push hard for more big results.  I'm sure Rob will revel in the atmosphere as being a local driver he will get great support from the fans, especially after his outstanding win a fortnight ago.  Thruxton is a really tough circuit though and we will have to work very hard to make sure we are fighting at the front again.  We want to keep setting our sights high as always and podiums are the target.  However, we know we will be much stronger at other circuits later in the season, so if Jonny and Rob can both score some good points finishes in all three races then that will be good enough for us this weekend."

Airwaves BMW Team driver Rob Collard said:
"I really cannot wait until Thruxton.  It's my home race and I'm looking forward to getting out in front of the crowds there.  I feel the Airwaves BMW 320si should be strong once again, and if we could claim another couple of podium results that would be fantastic.  For me the aim will be to try and close the gap on championship leader Matt Neal and try and get ahead of Colin Turkington in the standings.  I think the Team RAC BMWs will be our biggest rivals this season, so if we can come out ahead of them after this weekend that would be a great position to be in.  There's also a bit of family pride at stake for me at Thruxton as my sons Jordan and Ricky will be there on Sunday.  Ricky is third in his karting championship and I'm currently third in the BTCC, so I need to at least retain that position to maintain bragging rights at home!"  

Airwaves BMW Team driver Jonny Adam said:
"Thruxton is a circuit I know very well as I've raced there over the past four or five years in Clios or SEATs, and I've always done quite well.  However, I don't have any experience of it in the BMW 320si, or any other rear-wheel drive car, so I'll have a bit of adjusting to do.  It's also a circuit that doesn't necessarily favour the BMW, so if there is one place where we may struggle a little in the championship it could be Thruxton.  It might be tough for us to qualify well there, but I think our race pace will still be good.  I will be looking for solid points finishes in all three races, and if I can come away still placed in the top five of the championship standings then it will have been a good weekend's work."

Event Information

Thruxton Circuit
Thruxton, Andover
SP11 8PN

Location:                        off the A303 between Andover and Amesbury
Tel:                               01264 882200
Length:                          2.36 miles
Number of laps:              16
Race Distance:                37.76 Miles