James Gornall has rounded off Trade Price Cars Racing’s BTCC line up for 2020, and has confessed to a somewhat unusual way of spending New Years’.
“The first thing I did before I went to sleep at New Year was watch the pole position laps at every single circuit in 2019.”
Gornall joins after winning the Mini Challenge UK series in 2019, and confesses he will be taking as much advice as he can ahead of making the step up.
“I’ll ask Bobby as many questions as I can think of and take any advice he can give me, same as any other friends that race in this series. There’s always a lot that you can learn. When I go back to my British GT days I used to watch onboards of all the cars I was racing against to see what their characteristics were like so I could see where to best lunge at them or find an advantage. I’m going to do the same stuff here.”
While he has been racing in other series, notably in the British GT series, the British Touring Car Championship has been an itch that Gornall has long wanted to scratch.
“We’ve been talking about Touring Cars for a few years now as I feel it has always been my destination. We came back into saloons and did the Minis last year to learn front wheel drive ahead of a move into the Touring Cars.
“I spoke with Dan (Kirby, team owner) a year ago about this when he launched the team and I am happy that we made it happen as I did say to him then that I would win the Minis and the come and race for him.”
While he wanted to use the Mini Challenge to help prepare for a full British Touring Car programme, Gornall acknowledges that the schedule will be totally different even if he is now more used to his machinery.
“I’d say Minis are completely different. I did it to learn the car characteristics or a similar car characteristics but the Touring Car weekend is certainly light years ahead and in on-make championships like the Minis you do get a bit of rough and tumble, no-one really is planning to have rough and tumble but it’s nice see how that is in that environment. It’s been good preparation, this is something completely new and I will be going for it.”