Matt Simpson says making the step up into the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship is a dream come true in 2016 and he will be looking to improve as the season continues throughout the year.
Joining the established Speedworks Motorsport camp to pilot an ex-Team Dynamics Honda Civic Type R, the 34-year-old will be looking to add yet more achievements to an already impressive racing CV.
Having spent much of his career racing on short ovals and most recently circuits, Simpson is relishing the opportunity to mix it with some of the top drivers in the world.
Speaking to BTCC Crazy, Simpson said: “Racing in the BTCC has always been a dream of mine and now it is something that has become very real. With the new rules being fixed for the next five years with the new RML parts it seemed like the right thing to do. Also with ITV4 and Dunlop committing to 2022 there is now an even greater stability for the championship as a whole.
“I have known Christian and Amy [Dick] for many years now and they are great people. They have made us feel so welcome and we’re really excited to be working with Speedworks Motorsport, as well as having the ability to work with Honda too. I’ve got a lot to learn, so I just want to improve as the year goes on and get faster.”
With plenty of teams having substantial pre-season testing booked to gather as much information and understanding surrounding the new RML components, Simpson is no different in being set to clock substantial mileage before the Season Launch.
He explained: “I’ve got a lot of seat time ahead of me. We’ve got about 18 days worth of testing and that includes going to Spain and Portugal in February. I always think that you’re only as good as the amount of time you have in the car and with me coming in with little experience of what it takes to race one of these cars, I want to be well prepared and hit the ground running when we begin the year.”
Despite being realistic on what can be achieved in his maiden season in the BTCC, the Speedworks racer is sighting a long-term plan in the series where he hopes to grow and mature.
“Everybody wants to win in the BTCC but you have to use your head,” admitted Simpson. “We’ve got a five-year plan which won’t be easy but as long as we gain experience and improve as much as possible, results should begin to show the progress that is being made.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Sayle Photography