Recovery drive rescues weekend for Josh Files at Hungaroring
Poringland's Josh Files started his TCR Europe campaign off with a remarkable recovery drive in the second of the two races held at the Hungaroring.
The local driver required last minute repairs to the front left suspension on his Hyundai i30 N. “I had to start from the pit-lane,” said Files.
“In my favourite damp conditions on slicks I managed to go from 37th and finish eighth. Huge thanks to Target Competition for finding and fixing the problem fast.”
Files would start race one from fourth on the grid. “I didn't make a brilliant start but managed to get second place at the first corner. I saw Mat'o Homola was really struggling with the tyres, so I was definitely faster at the end but he did a good job and deserved the win. I'm happy with second and a 1-2 for Target on our debut is pretty decent.”
UNI-Virtuosi FIA Formula 2 racer Luca Ghiotto had an eventful opening race in Baku after the series leader qualified the Attleborough team's car in third place around the Azerbaijan circuit.
Ghiotto lost early places when Mick Schumacher braked late for the first corner forcing avoiding action which dropped him to eighth place which soon became tenth.
Head down Ghiotto recovered to fifth but in a race blighted by the intervention of the safety car the Italian driver got caught out by Sergio Camara weaving ahead of him to warm up his tyres and spun him out.
Needing a pit stop for a new wing Ghiotto dropped to 11th before again carving through the field to sixth at the finish before being hit by a five second penalty for contact with Camara dropping him to ninth in the results.
Ghiotto again made up places in race two but a minor error, after yet another safety car interlude, caught out the local team's lead racer and he smote the safety barrier to end his race.
UNI-Virtuosi's second driver Guanyu Zhou failed the finish the opening race after contact with a safety barrier but from the back of the grid he raced to tenth place in the second.
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The opening British Touring Car Championship race at Donington Park was a bruising affair with both Rob Smith and Sam Osborne bringing home their EXCELR8 MG6's in 16th and 22nd respectively.
For Smith it was a frustrating race as he held a top 15 points paying place in the mid part of the race only to lose out in the last few laps.
Smith finished races two and three in 18th and 19th places while Osborne was punted out of the second race by Mark Blundell, who misjudged a passing move into the chicane, and claimed 23rd in the final race in his repaired car.
“Fairly happy with three top 20 results,” reflected Smith. “We are missing the last little bit in getting points. It's only our second weekend of operating in the series.
“The performance is there in the car although it has dropped off a little bit as the day has gone on and not got stronger.”
“Getting there,” summed up Osborne. “The last lap was quicker than the nine cars in front of me but I just couldn't get Blundell on the last lap of race three.”
Three Clubmans races will test the drivers and machinery to the maximum at Snetterton this weekend with Clive Wood and Pete Richings keen to add to their victory tally.
Attleborough's Jonathan Lewis was a double winner in the Classic Touring Cars opening round with his Snetterton Speedshop Mini Cooper S and would love a repeat.
A false start penalty stopped AJ Owen from an opening double in the 93/05 Touring Car series while Ric Wood should continue to lead the Classic Thunder series with his Holden Commodore with Mike Luck and Stephen Primett triumphant in the Group one races leading up to this weekend.
The Junior Saloons, British SuperKarts and Caterham Graduates complete the 21 races, which starts at 3.30pm on Sunday and continue from 9.00am on Monday.