DUNTON, England - The new Team Aon Ford Focus BTCC car has undergone its final shakedown tests ahead of this weekend’s opening race at the Brands Hatch circuit in southern England. The fine-tuning took place at Ford’s Dunton Engineering Centre in Essex.
Developed by Arena Motorsport with technical support from Ford, the new Focus is the first product of this global initiative which will see development of a common race car to S2000 specification, to compete in major touring car categories worldwide.
UK-based Arena Motorsport – which races in BTCC under the banner of Team Aon – has been a successful long-term competitor in the series and introduced the previous generation Focus ST to the championship in 2009. Just 18 months after their first race with this car, the team and driver Tom Chilton secured both the 2010 Independent Teams’ Championship and Independent Drivers’ Championship titles.
Explaining the involvement of Ford's Dunton Engineering Centre, the UK’s largest automotive research and development facility, Gerard Quinn, Ford of Europe Motorsport senior manager, said: "It’s always very satisfying to see privateers taking Ford products and racing with them. Just as we can offer a team support in terms of cutting-edge facilities like the Dunton test track, so teams such as Arena can offer us their experience and skill in developing winning race cars. It’s a truly collaborative effort."
The new Team Aon BTCC Focus is expected to compete in all 10 rounds of the 2011 Championship season.