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Andy Priaulx: "It’s going to be a really exciting season"

Tuesday, March 31 2015

Triple World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx is ready to take on the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship's best at Brands Hatch this weekend (4/5 April), after a 13-year absence from the series.

"Testing has gone really well," Andy announced after his final pre-season test in the WSR BMW 125i M Sport at Brands Hatch last week. "I'm really happy with the car and the way that we've developed it over the winter, and we'll see how we are in the race. It's very equal from what I can see in the testing times and I think it's going to be a really exciting season."

Andy's first BTCC stint saw him qualify on pole for his debut with the Triple Eight-run egg:sport Vauxhall squad in 2001, before a full campaign with Honda Racing that yielded a victory and fifth place in the 2002 standings. Since then he has excelled on the world stage but hasn't raced at this level for over five years.

Andy feels that he's far better equipped now than he was 13 years ago: "I'm definitely more experienced and I hope I'm quicker than I was, and more complete as a racing driver. Where I've got to learn is how the BTCC has changed.

"I still feel there are wins left in me and coming back I feel like one of the younger drivers on the grid, so that excites me."

Andy was one of the last drivers to race a Civic Type R in the BTCC and he tested last week alongside the Japanese manufacturer as it prepares to reintroduce the model to the British series. "They're very fast," Andy commented. "They're doing some very good lap times in the wet, but we'll see, Brands Hatch is the first time that everybody will be absolutely equal and we'll know then where we are."

Andy also had some words about new BMR pairing Colin Turkington and Jason Plato, both of whom he competed against during his first BTCC stint. "It will be fairly even, Colin will just be there and it's going to come down to who has the most finishes at the end of the year probably. Like all of us it's going to be about finishing races and being the best you can.

"The BTCC has great fans and a lot of hype, and that's enjoyable for a driver. I'm looking forward to it."

Tickets for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch on 4/5 April are available from £26 in advance, with free entry for under-13s. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.