Warren Scott has stated that Team BMR are expecting to endure a tough opening three races of the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch today.
The Subaru squad have enter the season after a truncated pre-season which has seen them complete little pre-season testing, with a shakedown at Snetterton followed up by runs at Donington Park and Brands Hatch.
With little running heading into the 2018 curtain-raiser, defending champion Ashley Sutton hustled his Subaru Levorg to P18 in qualifying whilst team-mate’s Jason Plato and Josh Price were P29 and P31 respectively.
In addition to the lack of testing conducted by the tea, the manufacturer-backed squad have also chosen to switch engine suppliers for this season, with Swindon Engines now working with the team instead of Mountune.
Due to agreeing to make the switch in late January, both Sutton and Price have continued with 2017-spec engines for the season-opener, whilst Plato is the first to sample the new Subaru-spec Swindon engine.
Scott told BTCC Crazy: “We came into this weekend expecting it to be a little bit tough and that is what it has been so far. The reason we are in the situation we are in at the moment is because of the engine switch, we didn’t get everything over the line until January 26th – that has dictated where we are.
“We would have never made the decision to switch unless we didn’t think that it would pay off, come the end of the year we are confident that that will be the case.
“The new engine only arrived on Thursday and Jason has it for this weekend. We are just taking it as it comes, gathering as much data as possible and doing the best job we can given the circumstances.”
Despite the lowly qualifying, Scott admits the aim has to be banking as many points as possible at the Kent venue before the series rolls onto Donington Park at the end of the month.
“Any points we can score here today are going to be a bonus,” he explained. “This time last year we came away with virtually nothing and managed to turn things around, with Ashley winning the title.
“We’ve learnt lessons from being in this position in 2017. It is about limiting the damage today and making sure that when we come back here at the end of the season that we are in a championship-winning position.
“We are fairly confident that by the time we get to Donington Park we will have got all three cars fitted with the 2018 engines and gone through the data collected here to move forward.”
Race one of the day is scheduled to get underway at 11:35.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jakob Ebrey Photography