Lea Wood and his Houseman Racing squad are targeting a well-deserved British Touring Car Championship result at Silverstone this weekend (September 28 2014) after emerging from a challenging fortnight.
The team have more reason than usual to shoot for a strong showing after carrying out a rebuild on their Toyota Avensis, which suffered significant crash damage at Rockingham earlier this month. Wood’s weekend at the Northamptonshire venue was cut short after a high-speed accident in race one saw him make heavy rear-end contact with the Volkswagen of Warren Scott.
“Warren was an unfortunate victim of the crash. A second or so either way and there would have been no contact, but that’s racing,” reflects Wood.
The damage to the Avensis was extensive enough to call time on Wood’s weekend after just five racing laps. Fortunately, the BTCC’s NGTC-spec cars meant the team were able remove the damaged rear and attach a new one.
“The build has gone very well,” says Wood. “It’s been completed in good time and everything is ready for Silverstone.
“The fact that we’re now running an NGTC certainly helped. We were basically able to bolt a new rear on without having to replace the shell, which would have been very costly.
“In fact there is a silver lining to the accident,” he continues. “When rebuilding the car were able to shave off a fair bit of excess weight we’d been carrying, so that should help us over the remaining two rounds.”
Wood can take further confidence from the fact that the British Grand Prix venue’s National layout should suit larger machines like the Houseman squad’s Avensis. And having run well there in the past – notably scoring a hat-trick of Jack Sears Trophy wins 12 months ago – the team will be aiming for a return to form.
“Once again the first target is to qualify well and get away from the battles taking place towards the rear of the field,” confirms Wood. “If we can do that it should be possible to make progress in each race. There are just two rounds to go now and it would be great to sign off with some strong results.
“More so than usual, I have to say thanks to the Houseman team and our partners for getting the Avensis ready for this weekend. A lot of hard work has gone into it so I hope we can finish the job on-track.”
The Silverstone event encompasses rounds 25, 26 and 27 of this year’s British Touring Car Championship, with live coverage getting underway on ITV4 this Sunday morning at 11:00.