Andy Neate targets BTCC podium with new Cruze
|By Kevin Turner||Monday, August 5th 2013, 11:15 GMT|
British Touring Car racer Andy Neate is targeting the podium this season after being encouraged with his new NGTC Chevrolet Cruze.
Neate suffered a difficult season as Jason Plato's MG team-mate in 2012, finishing 16th in the standings.
He has now set up his own IP Tech operation to build and run a new Cruze. The car qualified 23rd at Snetterton last weekend for its first competitive outing and Neate finished all three races, albeit out of the points.
"This is the most running it's had," Neate told AUTOSPORT. "We've had a few electrical glitches, which I think everyone has had, but I'm delighted.
"It's learning and dialling-in the car. We're on base boost, but in the slow speed stuff we're up there.
"To go as fast as I did last year here in the MG is a massive effort."
Neate's team includes personnel that have worked at Arena, WSR and RML. He believes they can quickly move the car forward.
"It feels fantastic and 100 per cent it has potential," he added. "At the end of the year I can't see why we can't get that elusive first podium.
"Rockingham [next month] is the real starting point, once the boost equalisation has been sorted out."
Neate also confirmed budget issues mean a second Chevrolet Cruze is unlikely this season, but is hoping IP Tech will be a two-car operation next year.
"We must have two cars out next year and we're talking to drivers already," he said.