Aaron Mason made his bow in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park this past weekend and performed admirably in the VW Golf run by AMD Tuning.com.
The Doncaster-based driver made his name in the Volkswagen Cup and he leads the 2013 standings – and jumped at the opportunity to take to wheel of the S2000 VW Golf. James Kaye has been AMD’s driver this season but unfortunately had to pull out due to business commitments, thus giving Mason his debut.
After a strong qualifying performance, Mason took third place in the Jack Sears Trophy behind Lea Wood and Liam Griffin in race one. The VW Cup driver had looked set to repeat that result until an over rev in the engine forced him to retire and then fail to make the start for the final race of the day – all in all though it was an impressive start.
“It’s a shame the weekend ended as it did, but I’m pleased with how quickly I was able to adapt to the car and how quickly I was on the pace,” Mason said.
“We made a few adjustments to the car to get it more to my liking and by the time we got to qualifying, I felt I was really up to speed. In the first race, the car didn’t feel quite as good but the guys made some changes for race two and it felt a lot better in the laps we did. I think we were showing strong pace before the engine let go.”
With now one race weekend under his belt, Mason is hopeful that he will be able to return to the BTCC at some point and have a proper stab at success now he has gained some meaningful experience.
Mason added: “I really enjoyed the weekend and working with the team, and I think I put in a good performance. It would be nice to get out again and give it another go later in the year if the chance arose.”
Former driver and team boss of AMD, Shaun Hollamby, was thoroughly pleased with the weekend and how Mason asserted himself in what was his first weekend in the championship.
“I thought that Aaron would be quick in the car,” he said, “I wouldn’t have put him in it if I thought otherwise. He did a brilliant job when you consider he was thrown in at the deep end and there was a lot for him to get used to in a short amount of time.
“He took a sensible approach when he got in the car and built up his speed rather than trying to overdrive it straightaway, and the pace he showed in qualifying and the two races was solid compared to the other S2000 cars on the grid. It’s just a shame that he made a small mistake and snatched the wrong gear, which damaged the engine. That’s just down to experience with the car, and unfortunately it ended the weekend early. Without that, I think he could have challenged for some silverware in the final race.
Hollamby has always welcomed drivers with open arms to his squad and will continue to do so when Kaye is unavailable. The AMD boss though stated that his number one driver will be back at Croft as they hunt down the Jack Sears leaders.
“This weekend we have shown that we can provide a car that is quick,” Hollamby concluded. “Even if the driver has no prior experience and is a rookie at this level. James will be back in the car for Croft, and our aim there is to pick up some trophies and add to our win tally.”
It is the weekend of 22/23 June that Kaye will make his return to the Jack Sears Trophy at Croft as he looks to add to his two victories already.
AMD Tuning.com Weekend Summary
Aaron Mason: Qualifying: P24 Race 1: P21 (P3) Race 2: DNF Race 3: NS
PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Sayle Photography and btcc.net