The Vauxhall Insignia of Thorney Motorsport will not be taking to the tarmac of Thruxton as the BTCC heads to Hampshire for round three of the championship this coming weekend.
The team has made the decision to withdraw in order for further development of the car to take place before competing again with two main areas of concern needing to be addressed. A constant misfire that the teams engine supplier, Swindon Engines, are seemingly unable to cure being the first issue with the second being the lack of rear end grip which saw the Insignia spin even under the safety car at Brands Hatch.
Team principal John Thorne stated; “It is with a heavy heart we have taken this decision but with limited budget we can't afford to both test and race and the car has some fundamental issues that we need to address before competing again” Thorne then continued, “The handling issues are really just down to time in the car to properly create a full set up, that needs testing and that needs budget, however the engine issues are really annoying as they date back right to last year and Silverstone and thus far Swindon appear utterly unwilling or unable to cure them, it doesn't make it easy when after each race Swindon come along and take the engine map out of the car preventing from running over 4000rpm stopping you testing until you pay them another £2k fee!”
The team will miss the Thruxton round in order to spend the next few weeks testing the car to try and solve the issues before making a decision on whether to continue with Swindon Engines or instead, develop their own mapping for the TOCA control engine. Other drivers will be drafted in to help widen the available feedback to improve development. The team hope their testing and development period will be successful to enable them to take part in the Oulton Park round with either Thorne or second driver Rob Hedley at the wheel.
John Thorne concluded; “BTCC for us a long term commitment so we are looking at this as a re-group and come back out fighting. Some of the issues are just down to lack of development budget and some are just frustrating as they are outside of our control but no-one said racing was easy so we are a long way from giving up yet”