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STEPPING DOWN WAS MY CONTRIBUTION

Still/PSP

Liam Griffin reveals that dropping out of the Snetterton BTCC round was his way of aiding Redstone Racing with its new NGTC programme

BY MATT SALISBURY When Liam Griffin’s Ford Focus went up in flames after an accident in the final race of the weekend at Croft, it kick-started a chain of events that would lead to Redstone Racing debuting its new NGTC machine at Snetterton. The damage sustained in the shunt was enough to leave Griffin’s car all but written off and led to the team bringing forward the development of its NGTCspec machine, which had been started but then put to one side to allow the team to focus on the job at hand. The plan was simple – in theory at least. The NGTC car would be built up for Mat Jackson to step into, freeing up his older S2000-based machine for Griffin to then drive for the remainder of the season - thereby allowing Motorbase to keep all three cars on the grid. www.insidebtcc.com

That of course was dependent on the NGTC car being ready for the second half of the season and having already told the team he wouldn’t be making the trip to Knockhill because of commitments elsewhere, Griffin then took the decision to step down from Snetterton - a move which gave the team more flexibility when it came to getting the new car ready. “Once my car effectively burnt out at Croft it was a case of what do we spend the money on?” he said. “Do we put it into rebuilding the S2000 car or put it into the new one? I was happy to leave my car and put the money towards the NGTC car, and I think the end result looks fantastic. It is the way forward and the way that the team needed to go. They had to build an NGTC car, either this year or next season, so it seemed the right time to

do it. “It was always going to be touch and go for Snetterton and the boys did a great job to get it ready. It was a case of if the car was ready, I could race and if the car wasn’t ready then I couldn’t race. To be honest though, it was for the benefit of the team and of Mat that I stood down and took some of then pressure off as they knew the had the older cars to fall back on if the NGTC one wasn’t quite ready. “I know that my contribution on track isn’t always what it could be, so I’m happy to help contribute off track instead.” Of course, Griffin’s involvement with the team isn’t just as a driver, but also as a sponsor through the taxi firm Addison Lee and he insisted that the arrival of the NGTC machine was also good

for the sponsors who have made the Redstone Racing programme possible. “As a sponsor, Motorbase is great team to be with as they are an underdog,” he said. “Dave Bartrum is a great team principal to be involved with and is a top bloke in the paddock, so you want to help him to achieve his ambitions. “The old car isn’t going to be a championship contender this year, even with Mat Jackson at the wheel – we can see that now. The Honda and the MG have been developed to such an extent that they are noticeably quicker and as a sponsor, if you want to get coverage, you need a good car. This Focus will be every bit as good as the Honda and the MG and will hopefully be better. From a sponsor point of view, we’ll then be back at the front.”

Inside BTCC 31

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