AJ OWEN is determined to learn the lessons of last season and mount a credible challenge for the Thunder Saloons Championship this year.

Owen won a hat-trick of races early last season to lead the championship, but his family-run operation was eventually reeled in by the bigger teams as mechanical problems blighted their title tilt.

He expects a similar challenge this year.

He said: “I think this season is going to be very tough and it’s going to be a year of fighting cars with a lot more power than mine.

“It will be a case of elbows out and fight hard, but I believe I can still win races and fight for the overall championship, which is the main aim.

“Last season I experienced everything, massive highs and some low points.

“I learned a lot about myself as I driver and I’m still learning every race, but we’ve played around with the set-up and have a good setting in all weather conditions now, something we couldn’t say 12 months ago.”

The championship roars into life at Donnington on March 22