BTCC: Rd.6, Silverstone (26/27 September)

BTCC: Rd.6, Silverstone (26/27 September)

BTCC: Rd.6, Silverstone (26/27 September)

Free practice had shown the potential of the team’s Audi S3 after a storming lap from Jiggy saw him put the #180 car into ninth spot – ahead of defending champion Colin Turkington – in the second session, leaving the team confident going into qualifying.  Unfortunately, the session would prove to be frustrating as James would fail to set a time after being hit by the Mercedes of Jack Butel on the Wellington Straight just minutes after the green flag had flown. That meant a busy evening for the team to repair extensive damage to the front right of the Audi, and left James to start the opening race from the back of the field.

With the James’ car having been fully repaired ahead of race day, he took his place at the back of the field and a strong opening lap saw him jump up immediately into 22nd place. Having overtaken his team mate on lap two, Jiggy was dicing for position with Michael Crees before contact between the pair going into Becketts saw him slip back down the order to 25th. He would manage to make up three places after the restart to cross the line in 22nd.

The second race of the weekend saw James moving towards the points after a strong start saw him climb up to 17th by the end of the lap two, but he was then swallowed up by the cars behind when he was forced to back off after Tom Oliphant’s BMW had a moment ahead on lap six. That dropped him down to 20th, but he would recover to 16th by the finish despite struggling for front end grip, missing out on the points by just three tenths of a second.

The final race would be a chaotic affair that was red-flagged after five laps following a huge incident for the Ford of Rory Butcher on the run to Becketts, which saw his car roll after contact with the barriers before coming to rest on the circuit in front of the field. James were able to take evasive action to avoid the stricken car. The action resumed as a 12 lap sprint. Unfortunately for James, his weekend would end in disappointing fashion when an engine issue forced him to retire the sister car on the fourth lap, preventing him from fighting for points.

The team now heads for Croft in North Yorkshire for the seventh meeting of the season in two weeks time.

James Gornall, #180 GKR TradePriceCars.com Audi S3, said:

“We were running old tyres in FP2 so when I saw we were right up there, it left me feeling confident for qualifying as we had a chance to be right in the mix. Looking at how the session panned out, we certainly could have been in the top ten but instead, a ridiculous incident that shouldn’t have happened put us on the back foot. I wasn’t able to make the progress I was hoping for in race one as I got a hit from Crees when I was making a move on him, and that cost me time and also ruined the tyres. In race two, I nearly got into the points but I was struggling with the front end after the opening few laps and didn’t quite have the performance. In race three, I was coming through Luffield and the engine dropped onto three cylinders so I just brought it straight in and had to retire. It’s frustrating because this is a weekend where we could have picked up some solid results and instead, we’ve come away empty-handed.”

Driver Standings:
https://www.btcc.net/standings/drivers/

Images & Videos by kind courtesy:
Jakob Ebrey

Next BTCC meeting:
Croft, 10/11 October

BTCC: Rd.5, Thruxton (19/20 September)

BTCC: Rd.5, Thruxton (19/20 September)

BTCC: Rd.5, Thruxton (19/20 September)

James Gornall, #180 GKR TradePriceCars.com Audi S3, said:

“I’ve not been to Thruxton for twelve years, so it’s been a while since my last outing! It’s a very different circuit to anywhere else but I don’t think it’ll take me more than a couple of laps to get back up to speed as it’s not somewhere that has changed a lot since my British GT days. Thruxton is a track where you have hang it all out and I’m looking forward to the weekend ahead. The team has been working hard on the cars and hopefully we can reap the rewards of their efforts. Our focus has to be on maximising our performance on race day and the aim is to try and bring home points in all three races.”

The GKR TradePriceCars.com team was able to secure a points finish at the end of a battling day on track as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season resumed at Thruxton. The award-winning, Essex-based motor dealership headed to the fastest circuit on the calendar looking to bounce back to form after a tough weekend at Knockhill last month where both were unable to score. The pair worked hard through the two free practice sessions to dial in the Audi to the high-speed Hampshire circuit, with the pair then setting their quickest times in the half hour long qualifying session on Saturday afternoon. James would be the quicker of the pair by just 0.075s having gone six tenths of a second faster than in practice.

James would drop back to 20th in race one, as the field battled through the opening complex but recovered back up to his starting position by the mid-way stage of the race. Although not entirely comfortable with the balance of the car, James fought hard to gap the cars behind and would retain his position through to the finish.

He headed into race two seeking to move forwards toward the points, and found himself running just outside the top 20 through the early stages but was struggling for rear end grip around the fastest circuit on the calendar. Exiting the final chicane on the tenth lap, the gearbox on the Audi let go and forced James to retire, with it then becoming apparent that the lack of grip had been caused by oil leaking onto the rear wheels. Unfortunately, the short time between races meant that the team was unable to replace the gearbox on James’ car in time for race three.

James Gornall, #180 GKR TradePriceCars.com Audi S3, said:

“Sadly it’s been another frustrating weekend for me and things didn’t go my way. Having not been to Thruxton for twelve years, I hit every target I set myself on Saturday in getting up to speed, but others found more time than we did which meant we weren’t quite as high up the grid as I hoped to be. I struggled with the balance of the car in the opening race and then in race two the rear end was really loose and I was unsure why. It was only when the gearbox let go and I had to stop that I saw the oil on the rear tyres and it all became clear. It’s a shame that I then couldn’t start race three, so this is a weekend to put behind us and look forward to Silverstone.”

Driver Standings:
https://www.btcc.net/standings/drivers/

Images & Videos by kind courtesy:
Jakob Ebrey

Next BTCC meeting:
Silverstone National, 26/27 September

BTCC: Rd.4, Knockhill (29/30 August)

BTCC: Rd.4, Knockhill (29/30 August)

BTCC: Rd.4, Knockhill (29/30 August)

The GKR TradePriceCars.com team endured a challenging weekend on track as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship headed for Knockhill for the fourth round of the campaign. The award-winning, Essex-based motor dealership made the trip to Scotland looking to challenge for more championship points but it would prove to be a tough outing. Despite lapping within a second of pole position, the highly competitive nature of the field meant that James had to settle for 23rd on the grid, leaving him with work to do on race day on a circuit where overtaking can be notoriously difficult.

The opening race would end in disappointing fashion for James when he was caught out by cars ahead slowing when the action was about to restart after an early safety car period, with the damage sustained as he made contact with the Ford of Andy Neate forcing him to retire.

Straight line speed would prove to be an issue across race day. James would be forced to contend with an alternator issue that caused a loss of power steering, but he wrestled the Audi to the finish in 20th place.

He then avoided a multi-car accident that forced the final race to be red-flagged, and would end the restarted 20 lap encounter with James in 18th.

James Gornall, #180 GKR TradePriceCars.com Audi S3:
“It’s been a really difficult weekend. Through Saturday I felt we were making good progress and I did everything I felt we needed to do to get a good position in qualifying, but everyone else found more time than us which was disappointing. Circumstances went against me in race one as I came around the corner and the guys ahead had all slowed ahead of the restart, but it wasn’t ideal to retire in that way. Race two was then a huge battle as we lost the alternator belt and I had no power steering, but we pushed on as you never know if people will fall off and you can pick up places. I tried hard in race three and I pushed as hard as I could. I felt I’d done well to keep Boardley behind, and I had to push so hard to build a gap in sector one because I knew he was strong later in the lap. Sadly, he just managed to get ahead near the end but this is a weekend to put behind us and focus on the rounds to come.”

Driver Standings:
https://www.btcc.net/standings/drivers/

Images & Videos by kind courtesy:
Jakob Ebrey

Next BTCC meeting:
Thurxton, 19/20 September

BTCC: Rd.3, Oulton Park (22/23 August)

BTCC: Rd.3, Oulton Park (22/23 August)

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.”

Driver Standings:
https://www.btcc.net/standings/drivers/

Images & Videos by kind courtesy:
Jakob Ebrey

Next BTCC meeting:
Knockhill, 29/30 August

BTCC: Rd.2, Brands Hatch (8/9 August)

BTCC: Rd.2, Brands Hatch (8/9 August)

BTCC: Rd.2, Brands Hatch (8/9 August)

Strong points and Jack Sears Trophy honours for GKR TradePriceCars.com

The GKR TradePriceCars.com team enjoyed a strong weekend on home soil with five points finishes and Jack Sears Trophy honours from the second meeting of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season. The Audi team had made the short trip to Brands Hatch, where James Gornall wasconfident of challenging for points finishes.

The 30 minute qualifying session saw James setting his fastest lap times of the weekend, lining up in 20th spot – the fact that he was just a second off pole position showing how competitive the session had been.

Race 1: James was able to get away from the line well to make up places and found himself leading the team’s challenge as he slotted into 18th. Picking up places, James was inside the points scoring positions by the end of the fifth lap ultimately opening his account with 13th.

Race 2. The pace in race one left the team optimistic about more points in race two, with James completing lap one in 15th. The former British GT Champion raced well to force his way onto the fringes of the top ten as he diced for position with Senna Proctor’s Hyundai and the BMW of Stephen Jelley – eventually securing his maiden top ten finish having pushed the two former race winners all the way to the flag.

Race 3. The reverse grid draw put James on the second row of the grid for race three and he maintained his place through the opening lap after a solid start. Despite not having the outright pace of his rivals, James was able to bring home a fine seventh place after a battling drive on track for his second top ten finish of the weekend – with his results being enough to secure the Jack Sears Trophy.

James sits 12th in the Independents’ Championship after two rounds, with the next event at Oulton Park in two weeks time.

James Gornall, #180 GKR TradePriceCars.com Audi S3, said: “This weekend feels like it should felt at Donington Park before the engine issues we had, so it’s nice to have come into round two and realised our potential. Racing the Audi here has been totally different to anything I’ve done before and I had to learn as I went on. Qualifying was a bit disappointing but I knew we had good race pace doing into Sunday. Races one and two, I think I did well to get into a position where we could benefit from the reverse grid but we just didn’t have the outright speed to match the front-runners. Towards the end, the front tyres had gone but my focus was on scoring some good points this weekend and that is what we achieved.”

Driver Standings:
https://www.btcc.net/standings/drivers/

Images & Videos by kind courtesy:
Jakob Ebrey

Next BTCC meeting:
Oulton Park, 22/23 August