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BTCC returnees Nash and Boardman ready for comeback

Friday, March 30 2018

Returning Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race winners James Nash and Tom Boardman can't wait to get back into the action at Brands Hatch next weekend (7/8 May).

Both drivers claimed their maiden BTCC wins in 2011 before heading off to compete on the world stage. Six seasons later, both follow Tom Chilton back onto the BTCC grid hoping to return to the winners' circle.

Nash has signed to BTC Norlin alongside Chris Smiley, and will drive one of the team's ex-works Honda Civic Type Rs, which could be one of the best cars on the grid. "I'm really pleased," he said. "The racing suits what I'm doing in my life at the moment and this opportunity is a fantastic one. We want to grow and develop, hopefully I can give them some of my knowledge and background to help them achieve that, and we can get podiums and win races together.

"We know it's a winning car, so we've just got to get the base setup right and do minor tweaks. We've just got to do everything right to the best of our ability and we'll be there or thereabouts and that's what we need this year."

James feels that his experience away from the BTCC, in which he has competed in World Touring Cars and GTs, will help this process. Speaking about how he has developed as a driver, he said: "You're just open to other cars, different engineers, different team workings and you build a lot of structure into it.

"Although there's a lot of people around this team that have been in motorsport a long time, I'm hoping that I can bring some of that structure and some of the expertise from other areas as well so that we can all gel together to make it work. I'm just looking forward to get some laps and get back out there."

Boardman -021

Comparing the MG to the Special Tuning SEAT that he drove in 2011, Tom said: "This feels a lot bigger and has bigger brakes; that's it really. This is a proven car, so I've got a lot to live up to."

Like James, Tom is glad to be back in the BTCC paddock. "It's like coming back to your family again," he said. "It's a real professional job that everyone's doing, so I'm pleased and I've just been getting back into the swing of it."

Tom will be aiming to familiarise himself with the MG in time for qualifying next weekend, especially with 31 rivals and just half-an-hour on the 1.2-mile Indy circuit: "It is a bit nerve-wracking for sure - you couldn't get any more on the grid, especially at Brands Indy. I'm probably a bit more nervous about qualifying really, trying to get a lap in.

"I've got no expectations, just keep it on the black stuff and do as best job as I can for me and the team."

Tickets for the BTCC at Brands Hatch on 7/8 April available from £28, with free entry for under-13s. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.