Alain Menu joins Team BMR

Alain MenuIn the surprise of the off season so far, Alain Menu has signed for team BMR. The team which comprises what was Team Hard last season is owned by Warren Scott.

Aron Smith has also been signed to the team, another surprise as he moves across from Airwaves Racing where he had seemed established. The announcement was made by video on the internet, a first for a BTCC team.

The team will run two VW Passat CC’s for Menu and Smith and two Vauxhall Insignia’s, one for team owner Warren Scott and another for Jack Goff. Goff’s car will be run under the RCIB Insurance racing banner.

Menu, a double champion in the super touring era (1997 & 2000), is looking forward to the season ahead; “This is exciting. The best times of my career have been in the BTCC, and it’s going to be nice to see many people I’ve not seen for many years. I’m well aware that it will be different with a new team and new cars, but I’ve been watching the races, have spoken to a lot of people about it and the championship is really picking up at the moment. With lots of competitors, spectators and live TV, there are many reasons to be here.”

Track Action (photo by Marc Waller)Track Action (photo by Marc Waller)Menu Continues; “I want to have fun too, this is a very important part of racing for me. It will be nice to race against people like Matt Neal again, and Gordon Shedden was trying to break into the BTCC just as I left so I’m looking forward to racing against him. Jason [Plato] has matured since we were team-mates too, so I’m sure we’ll get on well. Plus there is a whole generation of new talented drivers out there, so 2014 should be very exciting. I’m also looking forward to racing on the fantastic British circuits again. The tracks are great and the public are always enthusiastic. We’re going to have some test days soon, so I’ll know then what work needs to be done, but I’m sure it’ll all come back to me very quickly.”

The team have signed experienced race engineer Geoff Kingston as chief Engineer and Tony Gillham remains with the team as Co-ordinator. Warren Scott explains how everything came together;
“Once we had everything in place we approached Alain, and he’s been fantastic from the very first meeting we had. He’s really enthusiastic and has loads of ideas for the season ahead. His experience is massive, and having him alongside already quick drivers in Aron Smith and Jack Goff is going to make the team a strong force in the pit lane. For myself as a relatively inexperienced driver it’s going to be amazing to learn from him and help push the team in the right direction.

“We are aiming to challenge at the front this year, to get podiums and hopefully race wins. Alain has the skill and experience to be a real contender, and with the work we’ve put into the cars we should be in the hunt for the Independents’ championships come the end of the year. There’s no reason why this can’t be achieved, and I hope that the set-up we’re creating now will stay with us to form a long-term programme that can go on to more success in the coming years.”

With both types of car the team is running scoring podiums last year they look set for further success in 2014. By Marc Waller

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