BTCC Dynojet update
BTCC Dynojet update
4th Apr, 2012 to 4th Oct, 2012
DYNOJET RACING BATTLE AGAINST THE BRANDS HATCH ODDS
Frank Wrathall and the Dynojet Racing team claimed their first points of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season at Brands Hatch yesterday, but came away from the Kent circuit wondering what could have been. After a brilliantly promising qualifying performance in the all-new Toyota Avensis, a rare mechanical failure ruled Wrathall out of the running in two of the races.
Race three was halted by a multi-car accident from which Wrathall was lucky to emerge with light damage; he took the restart and raced on to 13th place in a car which was far from perfect.
Qualifying: 8th (of 22) Frank was delighted with eighth place on the grid in his brand new Avensis. The Dynojet Racing crew had toiled until 4am in the Brands Hatch pits to ready the car for its competition debut, and were rewarded with steady improvements throughout the day by 25-year-old Frank. Between the first free practice session and qualifying, Wrathall upped his pace by more than a second a lap to claim eighth overall, less than half a second off the pole position time.
His performance was all the more impressive given the lack of testing time available prior to hitting the track in Kent. “We gave the Toyota a brief shakedown on Friday on the way to the circuit,” said Frank. “The first free practice session on Saturday was the longest time I had sat in the car.
“I’m made up with eighth. To bring a car here with no testing and to qualify eighth, less than five-tenths off pole. it’s unbelievable. And the good thing is that there is huge room for improvement - it’s not like we can’t go any quicker; there is a lot more to come... It’s a great effort all round by the team, and I can’t thank them enough for all the hard work they have put in.”
Race 1: DNF Frank Wrathall’s debut race in his Dynojet Toyota Avensis was promising but brief: a gearbox problem after a couple of laps forced him to retire to the pits. “Third gear broke up,” said Frank. “It’s something that has never happened before, and who could have predicted it?
“It’s a shame because that was probably by best-ever BTCC start. I got off the line well and in the first couple of corners was battling through. I was in quite a good position, then it started vibrating and when I hit third gear it just exploded.”
Hopes that the gearbox could be repaired in time for race two were dashed when the Dynojet crew found further damage to the internals of the ’box - a complete new gearbox was the only answer, and that meant Frank had to sit out race two as a frustrated spectator.
Race 2: Did not start
Race 3: Started 22nd (of 23), finished 13th The Brands Hatch finale provided a heady dose of BTCC drama, with a multiple crash on lap three after oil went down at the Druids hairpin which accounted for five cars and brought out the red flags to halt proceedings. Luckily Wrathall escaped the carnage by the skin of his teeth: “I piled into the back of Dan Welch’s car, which stopped me going into the gravel,” said Frank. “It was a shame, though, because my first start was really good and had the race continued I could have been up there.”
Frank’s car was however damaged in the impact with Welch, and then refused to fire up on the grid for the restart of the race. Marshals push-started him to get him away and into the race, but this drew an automatic penalty.
Further delayed by having to perform the “drive through” of pit lane, Wrathall did well to fight back to 13th place by the end of the race. “At least we got a finish,” he said. “The car just wouldn’t fire up, so I got a bump start and as a result of that we got a penalty, which was harsh. The Toyota wasn’t in top form - it had taken a couple of knocks in the earlier crash and wasn’t handling brilliantly.
“It’s a shame the race had to be stopped because I was looking good. I got a brilliant start and had made up a lot of places. It’s just unfortunate, but now we have to put this behind us and look forward to the next event, and hope that we fare better there.”
The Dynojet team’s next test comes at Donington Park, near Derby, on 15 April.
The Dynojet Racing team is backed by FUCHS Titan Race, Mac Tools, Klenzan, Angel Springs, K&N, Graphix and Autoglym.
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