EXCEL R8 come back down to earth with a bump
PUBLISHED: 06:00 22 August 2019
After the euphoria of earning their first British Touring Car Championship points at their home track of Snetterton the EXCELR8 MG6 team came down to earth with a bump at Thruxton.
Sam Osborne seems to be attracted to Mark Blundell's Audi this year as the pair collided again, this time during qualifying, which restricted the him to last on the 30 car grid with team mate Rob Smith two places higher.
In the opening contest Smith fought up to 23rd place before being squeezed back two places on the final lap while Osborne finished in 28th place.
Race two Smith again made progress, this time ending up 23rd, as his team mate matched his earlier result while in the third encounter Smith fell back to 24th with Osborne holding off Blundell for 26th place.
"Sneaking under the surface, that was a very positive weekend," said an optimistic Smith. "The numbers next to our finishing positions weren't particularly great, but what we've had are probably the best two consecutive race days we've had this year."
"It's just not really been my weekend to be honest, which is a shame after Snetterton," admitted Osborne.
Harry King did everything possible to win the opening Ginetta GT4 SuperCup race at Thruxton in his Elite Motorsport of Shipdham prepared car after claiming pole position but instead saw his series lead diminish.
"From the lights going out we led the race until a puncture struck on the final lap," explained King.
Sadly, it got even worse as King lost the series lead to Will Burns in race two. "Another DNF (Did Not Finish)," related a frustrated King. "No fault of the team or myself with a driveshaft failure on the warm-up lap but we'll bounce back in race three."
As promised King, starting last of the Pro drivers, picked his rivals off one by one to greet the chequered flag for the sixth time this season.
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"Salvaged what we could from the weekend. The championship hunt continues," promised King.
James Hedley's Ginetta Junior Championship lead has been cut to 50 points after he failed to finish the third of the Thruxton races.
"A win in race one, third in race two and a machinal failure in race three which sadly meant I didn't finish. We will bounce back at Knockhill," pledged the Elite Motorsport racer.
In the first race Hedley, starting from pole position, claimed his fourth win of the season with title rival Zac O'Sullivan following him home with the latter winning race two while Hedley, who again started from pole, ended up third but with his rival's second place in race three his series lead has been cut by a third.
Eleven years after their previous Citroen 2CV 24 Hour victory the Wisbech-based Team Gadget Racing repeated the feat after a tense race long battle at Snetterton over the weekend.
Gadget's crew, compromising of Tom Perry, Lien Davies, Simon Clarke, were in an early three-way battle for the lead with Tete Rouge Crisis and the multi winning Team Lion 1 until the latter needed an engine change during the middle of the night.
A smarter pit stop strategy during a triple safety car interlude allowed the local team to steal a small lead over their rivals which was almost wiped out with less than two hours remaining with a contentious stop/go penalty.
However, fading brakes didn't allow the Tete Rouge Crisis crew to take advantage to the delight to the Wayne Cowling led team.
Team Lion recovered to third place while it was heartache for the all-girl Blueberry Tarts team who lost a wheel 10 minutes before the end with the GR Racing car needing assistance as their suspension collapsed within sight of the chequered flag.
The Greg Page led Iceni Racing squad suffered engine problems for much of the event but the Watton based team did take home the 'Spirit of the Event Award' for their efforts to get to the finish.