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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Old 6 Sep 2011 11:19
 
Category: BTCC
Triple Eight Race Engineering with Collins Contractors came away from Knockhill, near Dunfermline venue for the 19th, 20th and 21st rounds of the 30-round Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) with lead driver James Nash 5th and still in the hunt for the overall Championship and Nash and the team a closer 2nd in the Independent awards. It should have been better still but for poor fortune in the final race of the day.

The good, race one. The day started well with feisty drives by both Nash and impressive debutant Aron Smith in our turbocharged Vauxhalls. Nash from 12th on the grid after a frustrating qualifying session the day before charged through the field to claim 6th at the flag, while Smith belying his BTCC inexperience took 10th place and points on his debut after starting 15th.

The Bad, (well sort of), race two. Unfortunately both drivers made relatively poor starts on the tricky uphill starting grid and lost positions. Ultimately Nash claimed 8th place while Smith was disappointed to be 13th.

The Ugly, race three. With erstwhile leader Jason Plato’s Chevrolet in the barriers after being unceremoniously pitched off track by Tom Boardman’s Seat the race was suspended behind the Safety Car. At the final corner before the start/finish line and the race about to restart Boardman suddenly and without reason braked heavily causing a concertina effect to build behind him. It left drivers having to take evasive action to try and avoid collision. Unfortunately, Smith was one of a number of drivers unable to avoid contact and he slammed into the back of team-mate Nash’s car just ahead. Smith’s retirement was confirmed instantly while Nash did well to recover to 15th at race end after a visit to the pits for a safety check and to have damaged panels hastily removed so that he could continue.

The damage to both cars is extensive.

James Nash: “What can I say? The incident that ruined both mine and Aron’s third race is on camera and the facts self-evident. I know that if a similar incident happened on an indoor go-kart track the culprit pulling the stunt would be immediately shown the black flag and disqualified.

“We have though to take the positives. The car ran well and we bagged good points, particularly in the first race. My main rival for the Independent’s award Mat Jackson fared worse than me today and so we managed to pull back his lead in the Championship to just 5 points. Rockingham in two week’s time is next up and with better luck we should go well there.”

Aron Smith: "I was very happy to score points in my first-ever touring car race. Race two wasn’t too bad either. I lost a place at the start and a couple very late on but nevertheless I was looking forward to race three. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. Under the Safety Car Boardman caused a huge crash behind him. He just took off on the final straight and then suddenly slammed on the brakes. I had nowhere to go. I have no idea what he thought he was doing.”

Ian Harrison, Chairman Triple Eight: “It was a good day really up until the incident behind the Safety Car in race three. Both of our drivers drove well and I was impressed with Aron who of course was making his debut. Regarding the incident it is obvious that Boardman hasn’t read the (Championship) regulations and doesn’t understand how it (Safety Car) all works. He ran out of talent faster than his car allows him to go. Unfortunately, we’ve now got thousands of pounds worth of damage to our cars to prove it.”
Tags: 2011 btcc




 
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