Peugeot applies pressure from within

For the first time this season, the Peugeot British Touring Car Championship team goes into the Knockhill race weekend with high expectations of matching the pace of works BTC Touring rivals Vauxhall

Peugeot applies pressure from within

After a marked improvement from the works 406 Coupes in the previous round at Donington Park, where the dominant Vauxhalls were forced to carry an extra 30kg of ballast to even the playing field, confidence is high in the Vic Lee-run team.

"This weekend is mid-season for the BTCC and I have always maintained that we would start to be competitive from the season mid-point," said Peugeot UK's motorsport director Mick Linford. "You will start to see us being competitive with the Vauxhalls from this point on."

Lee, who prepares the 406 Coupes at the Peugeot Sport competitions department, said: "After our test session at Snetterton this week, the changes we have made on the car have given us a platform that is now more responsive to adjustments. Progress has been, and will continue to be, made."

Knockhill has been revised over the winter, with modifications to McIntyres and Clarke corners, and the re-profiling of the Butchers hairpin. Scheduled pit stops will be mandatory in the Feature Race for the first time at the Fife circuit, as recent upgrades to the pit lane has made them feasible.

"The improvements to the track should make for more overtaking opportunities," said Steve Soper, who is Pug's best placed driver in the championship.

Its second driver, Dan Eaves, said: "We tested on Monday at Snetterton and I am confident that we have addressed the problems and found some areas of improvement which should benefit us at Knockhill. I think we will be more on the pace this weekend and definitely in for a podium position. I'm looking forward to Knockhill as it has long been a favourite of mine."

Peugeot will only run two cars this weekend as the Scottish rounds are not part of former World Superbike ace Aaron Slight's programme.

Vauxhall has a stranglehold on the first four places in the championship, with Yvan Muller heading Jason Plato, James Thompson and Phil Bennett. It will wrap up the manufacturers' championship after this weekend's Sprint Race should any of its drivers appear on the podium.

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