Now the opening rounds of the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch are behind us, teams and drivers will have a rough idea of their place in the pecking order. There will be some smiles and there will be some frowns.
And aside from engineering developments at the track, it is extremely hard for a team-driver combination to make significant strides over the course of the next 27 races.
To make sure that budgets don’t spiral out of control, officials in the BTCC insist that teams don’t take part in more than four days of testing during the course of the campaign.
That means that the teams have their cars pretty much locked down from the start of the season. If it isn’t spot on at the start of the year, there isn’t much room for manoeuvre.
Teams with newly designed cars, such as the Team BMR Subaru Levorg squad this year, are allowed those four days plus five extra ones while they get to grips with those machines.
Those extra days will be vital for Subaru. While drivers Jason Plato and Colin Turkington both managed to score points during the opening three races of the campaign on 3 April with a 12th and a 13th place finish, there is still an awful lot of work to be done to get them to the very front of the field.