Downton FV Team have launched their 2017 challenger - the BD05 - at a special sold-out fan event held at their local Thruxton Circuit.
15,000 tickets for the event went on sale on Downton's website two weeks ago, and were sold out within three days, with all proceeds from the event going to charity. The gates were opened at 10am with all fans allowed in for a signing and photograph session with the teams three drivers: Nathaniel Powers, Klaas van Snelheid and Marcus Thunder.
The 100 prime ticket holders were then ushered to the pitlane for the car unveiling at 2pm, while the remainder of the fans made their way around the circuit to the many vantage points to get a glimpse of the cars out on track. Two cars were then rolled out of the garages, with van Snelheid and team principal Bradley Downton unveiling the Dutchmans first ever car, while Thunder aided his former team mate Powers in unveiling his machine. After fifteen minutes the press were allowed in to take the first official photographs.
The pitlane was then cleared as Nathaniel Powers jumped in and took his car for two succesful shakedown laps. "That's a very quick machine," he grinned to the press afterwards before giving interviews, while van Snelheid followed suit with his own pair of shakedown laps before bringing the car to the grid for one last shot of both BD05's together.
"That's an immense machine," Powers exclaimed. "The best Downton I've driven was the BD02 in 2014, but even that wasn't a patch on the JF-01. But this, this is special. For the first time I'm heading into the pre-season with a lot of hope. I feel this is easily my best chance at being at the front since 2013."
"It's better than that heap of shit I drove at home last year," commented van Snelheid. "It's got a real kick on acceleration and the grip in the corners is very good. I'm excited, I want to win."
"We definitely feel this is the best car we've ever produced," Downton concluded, "and it's about time after five years!" he added jokingly. "We're well aware we're almost famed for playing down our chances before each season, but we've never been wrong have we? This year, I am confident. Do I think we're going to arrive in Australia out front? Absolutely not because there is a lot of impressive competition out there - DS Mathershaw and Franklin to name but two, but I reckon we'll be right there. We want to challenge for the championship this year, this has been the plan and intention over the last three years. Will it pay off? I'm excited to find out!"