This weekends FIA World Touring Car Championship event in Austria will mark the mid-way point in the 2012 season and with five rounds under their belt so far Team Aon drivers Tom Chilton and James Nash have already scored points in their debut season. As well as adding to their points tally, both drivers are helping Team Aon in the development of the Global Ford Focus as the team competes on the world stage for the first time. Last time out in Hungary both drivers endured a difficult weekend and will be hoping that the Salzburgring brings better fortunes as they continue their steep 2012 learning curve.
The previous round in Hungary was a difficult showing for Team Aon; after sustaining heavy damage during the previous round in Slovakia Nashs car needed an extensive rebuild in-between the back-to-back rounds. However despite once again making it through to the second part of qualifying with a fully rebuilt car, further bad luck eliminated Nash out of the second race of the weekend. Chilton fared no better as he struggled with a lack of grip for the majority of the weekend.
The sixth round of the season in Austria will be the penultimate race of the European season and sees Chilton and Nash battle it out around the Salzburgring a track neither driver has previously competed around before.
Despite the circuit being tightly packed in, it is the long straights which generally produce the most exciting racing to watch, all the while providing the drivers with the best overtaking opportunities of the race.
Speaking ahead of the weekend Tom Chilton said, Again its a track that Ive never driven around so thats quite a challenge, but I think theres quite a few drivers up and down the field who also have never driven the track before so it does even the playing field a little a bit like Slovakia.
We have a few new parts coming to the car for this weekend which Im feeling good about and, as always, our aim is to qualify within the top 12 and hopefully have a better weekend than we did in Hungary.
After difficult back-to-back races in Slovakia and Hungary James Nash added, Hungary was a challenge setup wise compared to Slovakia so it will be interesting to see how the car feels in Austria. Were working hard to understand why the car feels so different from track to track and Im hoping Austria will help unlock some clues. Its a new circuit again for us, so its certainly going to be interesting.