The AmD Milltek Racing.com team rounded out their 2011 season with a frustrating weekend at Silverstone.
Driver Martin Byford qualified 24th among the 29 to record a time around the 1.64mile Silverstone National Circuit, but was progressing well up the field into the top 20 before a driveshaft problem forced the Essex based driver into retirement.
The result dropped Byford back into the pack for the start of the second race, when an early pitstop locked the VW Golf driver a lap down. The final race of the day – and the season – was doubtless Byford's best showing of the weekend.
He had raced into 15th by the fall of the checkered flag at the end of the 22 lap race, finishing ahead of newly crowned Independents' champion James Nash and double champion James Thompson – returning to the championship for the final meeting of the year with Airwaves Racing.
“I really enjoyed the final race and it was good way for us to finish the season,” said Byford. “The driveshaft problem in race one meant we were on the back foot for the rest of the day with such a large field, but to come from 24th on the grid to finish 15th is a good result for the team and the car was the best it's been all weekend.”
The Silverstone weekend concluded the 2011 British Touring Car Championship, which Byford joined at the half way point, filling a vacant race seat at AmD Milltek. Looking back on his tenure to date with the team Byford was satisfied with his performance, but frustrated at the lack of points scored.
“I have to admit that I'm gutted that I've not managed to break into the top ten and score a point in my half season because I feel we've deserved it on several occasions,” he said. “However, I'd like to think that I've proven myself and shown that I can compete against these guys and I feel that I can now call myself a touring car driver. The focus is now on working hard over the winter to get the budget together for a full season in the BTCC next year.”
Team manager Shaun Hollamby, similarly, painted a picture of satisfaction, tinged with frustration that the season did not continue on the upward trajectory of the early rounds,
“Overall I'd say the season has seen flashes of brilliance clouded with disappointment for us,” he said. “So much work has gone into this year behind the scenes that I think we have deserved more but now we have to regroup, take stock and look at where the Golf stands for next season. We have to see what the finalised rules are for 2012 but we know that the VW has a good chassis and if the grid is all-turbo next year, we could have a more competitive package than we've had this year.”
Throughout 2011 AmD Milltek racing.com have been supported by AmD Milltek Racing.com are supported by AmD Essex, Milltek Sport, Tesco Momentum 99, YourRacingCar.com, Mintex, Super Pro, Pipercross, Corbeau, KW, ABS, Cornering Force, Airtec, SFS Hoses, Eurocell and AlignMyCar.