The GoMobileUK.com with Tech-Speed team endured a tough weekend at Donington Park, but were able to come away with two points finishes from the second weekend of the British Touring Car Championship season.
Paul O'Neill took the first of two top ten finishes in Race 1, where he was classified eighth. In Race 2 the Widnes racer was set to finish in sixth, until being tipped into a spin by Rob Collard, ending his race in the gravel trap. Despite starting Race 3 towards the back of the grid, O'Neill was able to come through the field to finish in eighth.
“We knew it was going to be a difficult weekend but I thought we could have come away from it with three top ten finishes,” said O'Neill. “We managed to get two points finishes but the incident in race two really cost me. In that race, we had the pace to match the turbos and if I'd finished inside the top six there I would have had a better grid slot for race three.
“As it was, I got held up at the start with the accident in front of me and then lost time behind Rob but we managed to come through and pick up some points. We expected it to be hard at Donington so we just have to put the weekend behind us and it's onwards and upwards at Thruxton; our championship will really start there.”
Teammate John George was forced out at the beginning of the first race after being tagged into a spin by Dave Newsham. In Race 2 he brought the repaired car home in a solid 12th place. A chaotic start to Race 3 allowed George to move up to seventh position on the opening lap as the safety car was deployed. After the restart he was unable to resist the faster cars behind him and dropped to tenth. A spin after running side-by-side with O'Neill on lap nine dropped George down to 18th, but he was able to make his way through to 11th by the checkered flag.
“We were just out-powered all the way really by the turbo cars so it was a difficult weekend,” George said. “I got a really good start in Race 1 but then all of a sudden I got hit in the rear and next thing I knew I was in the wall. In Race 2, it was a case of being steady and staying out of trouble and people just seemed to want to thrown themselves off in front of me.
“It all looked good in Race 3 and I was up in seventh place, but we just didn't have the power to match the turbos. I was forced wide through the Craner Curves and then when Paul was side-by-side through the Old Hairpin, neither of us wanted to make contact with each other and I just got a wheel off circuit and had a spin. It was a shame that I missed out on the chance to score some points, but we always knew it was going to be a tough weekend here.”
Tech-Speed team boss Marvin Humphries said: “We were aware of how difficult it would be at Donington and it was an up and down weekend. Paul did what he needed to do in Race 1 to make up places but what happened in Race 2 was disappointing as it dropped him to the back of the grid for Race 3 – and it isn't easy to come through the field against the turbos.
“John being taken out at the start of Race 1 was unlucky but the boys did a good job to get him out for Race 2, and he did well in both Race 2 and 3 although it was a shame he had his spin. Overall, it was just one of those weekends but we scored points in two of the three races and we'll crack on with it when we get to Thruxton.”