Interview with Geoff Kingston and Phil Overall

Interview with Geoff Kingston and Phil Overall

So we’ve had Media Day and the Official BTCC Test day. So how did Media Day go?

We were relatively happy with how the day went. We were affected by the red flags and stoppages which meant that we only ran new tyres on Bobby Thompson’s car. I think Bobby’s time was very impressive. He continues to impress with his very limited experience in these cars. He’s doing an excellent job. The other three cars never got a new tyres and our old tyre performance we were extremely pleased with. So I think that we’re in pretty good shape there.

And how has the Official BTCC Test been?

Here we’ve obviously been affected by the weather. It’s been wet and dry with limited dry running. Mike Bushell was seventh fastest just a couple of tenths away and his new tyre run was when on a par when it started to rain as well. So we believe there’s another couple or three tenths in there. He’s very happy with the car and says he can see areas that he can improve on himself. So generally we’re pretty happy at the end of the day with the continual rain. We changed Jake Hill’s car to a full wet setup and he is happy with what’s underneath him as well. So yes, we’re in not bad shape the week before Brands Hatch first race of the season

Do we have a long range weather forecast yet for Brands Hatch?

No, we don’t but it will probably be ‘changeable’. We’ll go with that!

So mechanically everything is going to plan?

Yes not not many bits dropping off now. I think we’re getting the hang of it now. (Laughing) We still need a big push next week to detail the cars to the situation they need to be. But the cars are proving to be reliable.

So the drivers are all happy, you’re reasonably happy. How much work is there to do. I I think you said before they were 80% there?

We’re about 90% there now. So they’ll be shiny and ready to go next weekend.

What are your predictions or aspirations for the weekend?

It’s very difficult to answer that question. I’d like to think that we could get two cars in the top 10 in qualifying and I’d like to think we could score good points in three races. I think with Mike Bushell he’s obviously still learning the second time into Touring Cars, he is improving every time he drives it and getting more comfortable and more experience in this type of car. Jake is obviously proven with three years in the championship. He’s proven to be fast and if you give him a fast car he will drive it fast. So who knows what Jake will actually achieve in qualifying. What you only really want is it not to be any damage. All four drivers to keep out of trouble!

So the burning question is, will there be team orders.

I think all of our drivers will work together I’m pretty sure that. They get on well and work well together.

Phil (Overall) Do you have anything to add?

We’re making good steady progress with the other two cars [Geoff oversees Jake (Hill) and Mike (Bushell). Phil oversees Michael (Caine) and Bobby (Thompson)]
We’ve be ironing out a few problems. Obviously, Bobby’s car was the last one to be finished. It’s running reliably and we’re very happy with Bobby’s performance with limited experience. Today he was competitive with the more tyre runs that we did so looking good. We are getting over one or two build issues that we had but that’s what testing is all about. So we are looking in good shape good shape reliability wise for the weekend.

And were both of the drivers happy with the testing in the wet? Bobby particularly likes driving in the wet.

Obviously we’ve got to get some more data for Bobby with some dry running so he gets used to driving this car in all conditions but we’ve unfortunately had a lot of wet testing, but it is Winter.

How many more testing days are there planned throughout the year?

There is one on the 12th of April at Thruxton. And then the Summer Test at Snetterton before the summer break finishes.

Is Michael Caine happy with his car?

Yes Michael is happy. Yes he’s happy with what he’s got. We’ve taken a snapshot at a certain time of the day looking at what everyone else is doing (because when you’ve got changeable conditions you can only look at that point in time, it’s no good comparing it to what was done before). So looking at what he was doing on the track at the same time around he’s looking competitive.

Team HARD. building best ‘Overall’ package

Team HARD. building best ‘Overall’ package

Team HARD. Racing are very pleased to announce another major addition to their programme with the confirmation of experienced engineer Phil Overall joining already confirmed Geoff Kingston to lead the team in to 2018 and beyond. Phil re-joins the BTCC fold with Team HARD. after taking time out to redesign his product line at Sebring International, also with Geoff Kingston.

Phil said “The team has a great blend with the car, drivers and engineering as well as the promotional skills that is all important in modern day Motorsport. Having worked with Geoff on several projects over the years, we are confident that we can add the required level of knowledge and experience to take the team towards the sharp end of the grid.”

In what has already been a very busy winter, Team HARD. are going from strength to strength with an extensive redevelopment in all areas for both on and off-track improvements. It has been non-stop since the last race at Brands Hatch in early October with the planned upgrades both to the cars and the team personnel.

Team HARD, principle Tony Gilham added “Following the very exciting signing of Geoff last month, we have been working very hard to make sure that we are able to add the right team members in the right areas to take us to a whole new level for 2018. The engineering side is very important and is essential to lead the team forwards with everything we have planned. Having known Phil for a few years now, it was a very straight forward conversation when we met up to discuss our plans and what we would like to achieve together for the coming season. “

Geoff concluded, “It’s been great to get involved with a new project with Tony and the team and we are very pleased with what we have put together so far. Phil and I have worked together before at WSR during the MG days and is the perfect fit for the required position. We know we can work together effectively as we have done in the past and will look forward to seeing what we can achieve come the start of the season in just a few short months.”

With the drivers that have already been announced and the other drivers yet to be named, the team are growing increasingly confident that they will arrive at Brands Hatch with a very competitive package that will allow them to compete at the front of the grid. The team have the belief in the ‘Overall’ package that is being built and will continue to put the HARD. work in to make it possible to push for some silverware in 2018.