Martin Depper Makes His Point(s) At Croft


Eurotech Racing‘s Martin Depper enjoyed his most competitive showing in the 2014 British Touring Car Championship at Croft circuit last weekend, and says that his double points finish puts him in a good mood for the second half of the season.

Depper joined the Pirtek Racing squad alongside reigning champion Andrew Jordan in the winter period, and has spent the initial half of the 2014 campaign acquainting himself with the Honda Civic during one of the most competitive seasons in BTCC folklore.

The former Mini Challenge champion and Volkswagen Racing Cup race winner will celebrate his 46th birthday this weekend in the knowledge that he comes off the back of his most competitive weekend of the season at Croft, scoring five points as he battled his way up the grid to mix it with the likes of the works teams and former champions.

A strong top-10 showing in Saturday’s two free practice sessions was brought down to earth by 24th on the grid in qualifying, but the West Midlands driver fought his way through the pack to move up 10 spots for a maiden points finish of 2014 as he stole 14th from Tom Ingram on the sprint to the line.

“It’s just nice to come away for the summer break with a good result”, Depper told The Checkered Flag after his points-scoring weekend in North Yorkshire.

“It started well actually in free practice one and free practice two with P11 and P9, but unfortunately we had a real downhill slide for qualifying – we made a few changes but, where I made a few gains I then made couple of mistakes and I wasn’t able to hook up a good lap which banged me in 24th.

“That was really upsetting, so we were a bit disappointed with that.

“But in race one, thankfully we made a reasonable start and while there was a bit of carnage going on we just picked a few off. I think that our set-up worked a bit better than some of the others so I was able to have a bit of performance right at the end and pick them off.”

Martin Depper 3 BTCC 2014
Depper showed his fight at Croft (Photo: btcc.net)

The second encounter of the day was possibly Depper’s most frenetic one in a day full of incidents littered through the pack. 18th place was the end result after Ingram got the better of the Honda man on this occasion, Depper saying he ran out of tyre life in the dueling.

“Race two we started 14th I think it was, and we were on super softs; we got away and I think I was 12th and running smoothly, then I got up to Tom Ingram who may have been trying to get me back for the pass that I did on him in race one!

“He tried a few times but didn’t get me straight away, then after three or four attempts he got past me. Unfortunately a few others then took advantage as well and I just lost my rhythm a little bit so I started to overdrive the car at that point and overworked the tyres. With two laps to go I was really struggling with grip, so slipped back to P18.”

The final race was littered with incident for much of the grid, Depper evading the majority of it to battle with the likes of MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save BTCC Team works driver Sam Tordoff as he narrowly missed out on a top-10 finish with 11th.

That soon became 13th after a time penalty was applied to his final race for a forceful move at the Complex entrance during the late stages of his dice with Tordoff, ending Depper’s day with five points to show for himself.

“Race three; I got another reasonable start and chipped away really. I took advantage of a few things, we had the pace at the end so I was just able to keep it nip and tuck and come through it so it was great.”

The result sees Depper jump up into the points-scoring positions in the championship as the BTCC heads into its summer break, team-mate Jordan lying third overall heading to Snetterton on 2/3 August.

Depper leaps up to 10th in the Jack Sears Trophy standings for most positions gained over the season, with 39 now to his name after a strong fightback on Sunday – the JST lead by Alain Menu on 70. Depper also moves just 12 points from the top 15 of the Independents Championship, Pirtek Racing sitting second in the Independent Teams’ Championship:

Independent Teams’ Championship:

1) West Surrey Racing

272pts

2) Pirtek Racing

244pts

3) Airwaves Racing

214pts

4) Chrome Edition Restart Racing

185pts

5) RCIB Insurance Racing

133pts