BTCC: Rd.3, Oulton Park (22/23 August)
The GKR TradePriceCars.com team was able to celebrate a second successive win in the Jack Sears Trophy at the end of a tough weekend of racing as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship headed for Oulton Park for the third round of the year. The Audi team made the long trip to Cheshire keen to challenge inside the top ten, with James Gornall confident about impressing in their Audi S3s.
Saturday would prove to be a challenging day for the pair however, with both drivers left with work to do on race day after a difficult qualifying session. James would find himself 22nd on the grid for the opening race despite setting a time just 1.3s off pole position.
Race day dawned with rain in the air, and the heavens opened as the cars headed for the grid, with both drivers ultimately swapping to wet tyres before the start of race one – which was delayed after an incident for another driver on the green flag lap. Once the action finally kicked off in treacherous wet conditions, James climbed up into 19th and would run inside the top 20 throughout and crossed the line in 18th despite suffering visibility problems throughout the race.
Race two would be one of mixed emotions for the team, with James the unfortunate victim of contact from the Honda of Matt Neal whilst dicing for the points early on, leading to him retiring on the fourth lap. James had been keen to try and end his weekend with some points on the board, but his forward progress from the back of the field was halted when he was forced off track by the Volkswagen of Ollie Brown at Cascades – dropping him to the back of the field and leaving him with damage he would carry through to the finish.
James Gornall, #180 GKR TradePriceCars.com Audi S3:
“It’s been a really tough weekend at a circuit that I love, which is a real shame after a strong showing at Brands Hatch. We didn’t have the pace in qualifying which put us on the back foot, and then in race one, I had an issues with the wipers and some water in the car so I couldn’t see a thing. In race two I got taken out by Matt Neal and whilst he apologised, it doesn’t change the result unfortunately. I was making progress in race three but Ollie Brown then pushed me off which cocked things up; it damaged the front of the car and meant I had no brake cooling so I couldn’t go very fast even though I continued. The boys have a bit of work to do to fix the car and we’ll just hope for more fortune next time out.”