Friday, 20 April 2018

Testing times but great to be back

Testing times but, great to be back

Milton Keynes-based James Nash, racing in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) for the first time in over 5 years, enjoyed a testing time in the opening round of the 2018 series at Brands Hatch, near Swanley in Kent.

A difficult qualifying session saw James line up an uncharacteristically lowly 26th on the 32 car grid for the opening of 3 races, the former WTCC and BTCC Independent Champion unable to cure a handling imbalance and find the confidence to push his BTC Norlin Racing Honda to its limits.

A 17th place finish was his reward for a gutsy drive in race 1 but after set up changes were made  to the car for race 2 and the handling transformed to his liking, James managed to fight his way up into the top 10 before dropping back late in the race. The race had started on a wet track but, dried rather sooner than most had anticipated, leaving James and everybody else on wet tyres struggling for grip as the few who had started on dry slick tyres came storming through late in the race. James did nevertheless score his first Championship points, albeit for an unrepresentative P14 finish.

Hopes were high for a strong finish in race 3 but were soon dashed when he came off under challenge from the vauxhall of race 2 victor Senna Proctor.

The next round of the BTCC is at Donington Park, near Derby on Sunday 29th April.

James Nash

"For various reasons we were only able to do minimal running before this weekend and so  today has been pretty much a very public test session for us."

"The race results have been disappointing of course but, the most important thing is that we've sorted the handling problem that had handicapped us through qualifying and the opening race. I'm confident now that we'll be alright at Donington Park."

" I think we'd have done alright in race 3 but we couldn't prove it because after Ash Sutton in the Subaru pushed me wide at the final turn it allowed Senna Proctor a run on me into turn 1. Unfortunately, Proctor overdid it a bit and the resultant collision ended my race. I don't blame him for the crash though - these things happen."