British Touring Car Championship racer Lea Wood started the week by toasting a landmark birthday – and he’s hoping there are more celebrations to come as he takes his Toyota Avensis to Scotland this weekend.
Hereford-based Wood celebrated his 30th birthday on Monday at a surprise party with friends and fellow members of the Houseman Racing team.
The cake has only just been polished off, but now it’s back to business for last year’s Jack Sears Trophy champion as the BTCC heads to Knockhill Racing Circuit in Fife this weekend for the seventh round of the gripping competition.
Wood, who is sponsored by leading oil blender Morris Lubricants, said: “I know some people can feel a bit funny about hitting 30, but not me. I’m still one of the youngest drivers in the BTCC and I’ve got plenty of years ahead of me yet.”
Looking ahead to the weekend action, Wood added: “Knockhill is always an exciting circuit for spectators and racers because it’s tight and twisty. It can lead to some tough racing because it’s so narrow.
“Qualifying on Saturday will be important because it’s difficult to overtake. We managed to qualify in 18th at Snetterton and something around there has to be the target again.”
The narrowness of the 1.27 mile Knockhill circuit can lead to collisions so the Houseman team will take extra replacement panels to Scotland in case Wood finds himself involved in any trouble.
The team’s mechanics have also tinkered with the car’s gear ratio to suit the circuit.
Wood has managed six championship points this season and with just three BTCC meetings left after Knockhill, including Silverstone and Brands Hatch , the Morris Lubricants man is keen to lay the groundwork for next year.
“This season has been better than we thought it’d be,” he said. “You never know what will happen with a brand new car, but it had great pace at Snetterton.
“We want to get as much information as we can between now and the end of the season so we can take it all on board and see what has worked and where improvements can be made.”
Morris Lubricants is based in Shrewsbury and supply Wood with a high performance range of gear and transmission oils, brake fluids, greases and maintenance sprays to keep the car fully operational in the heat of British Touring Car Championship battle.