Thorney Motorsport's Vauxhall Insignia before the Paddock Hill Bend off (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

Thorney Motorsport's Vauxhall Insignia before the Paddock Hill Bend off (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

John Thorne's participation in the opening races of this year's British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) is in doubt after he suffered a heavy off in the first practice session at Brands Hatch.

Thorne, driving for his own Thorney Motorsport team in an NGTC spec Vauxhall Insignia, crashed heavily on the entry to Paddock Hill bend in the closing stages of the series' first 40 minute practice session causing severe damage to the front of the car.

“The back snapped right round,” Thorne described the accident to The Checkered Flag. “We're struggling to get balance on the car, the front end's too soft under so we have too much transition. So we're trying to get over the brake bias and if you put too much bias on the front the back comes around, put too much on the back and there's not enough braking. The accident was my fault, I was trying to brake as late as I could into Paddock Hill and the back snapped round and I was a passenger.”

“It's a little bit worrying. We've got things like spare bumpers and wing and front ends but we haven't got the budget for spare radiators and intercoolers and bonnets. We've done a light too, we'll have to put a call out in the paddock to see if anyone's got an Insignia and we can borrow a light.”

Thorne's accident caused a red flag while the black Vauxhall was recovered and the tyre wall repaired before the first practice session restarted.

Throney Motorsport after Brands Hatch practice crash (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

Big off has left the small team struggling for spare parts (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

The car subsequently failed to appear during the second session.b