LOCAL racer Simon Belcher enjoyed a highly productive first test run despite wet and blustery conditions at Silverstone recently.

The Toyota Avensis driver is set to begin his maiden British Touring Car Championship season at the end of March and was pleased with his performance after taking his car out on track for the first time.

Belcher worked on a variety of set-up changes throughout the day and although he wasn’t able to work in dry conditions he was still able to complete around 200 kilometres in his Speedworks Motorsport-built Handy Motorsport Toyota.

“It was a full day of wet testing and it went well, we made some good progress”, said the Wiltshire driver.

“The changes we applied to the car made it better and better, even though the conditions were getting worse the times weren’t dropping off. We just need some dry testing now “We did another 200 kilometres in the car and it was good to be back working with the Speedworks guys again. We were also able to share data with Tom Ingram who was out testing for the first time, with two people out there trying different things it means you can push forward at twice the speed.”

With no further activity for a couple of weeks, Belcher’s next pre-season test will come at Cheshire’s Oulton Park in early March before additional visits to Brands Hatch and Donington Park.

“It’ll be all systems go the next time we’re out at the start of March, everything ramps-up then as we get towards the first round”, added the double Renault UK Clio Cup ‘Masters Cup’ champion. “Both runs we’ve had at Silverstone so far have been positive. Getting plenty of mileage in at Oulton Park, Brands and Donington is going to be really important before the start of the season.”

Kent’s Brands Hatch Indy Circuit will host the opening three rounds of the 2014 British Touring Car Championship over the weekend of March 29 and 30.