Welch Motorsport picked up its first point of the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season yesterday, when Daniel Welch finished P15 in his Proton Gen-2 in yesterday’s race 3.
Drivers Daniel Welch and Andy Wilmot set their goal to get as much track time as possible on the Cheshire circuit during the free practice sessions, with Welch eventually completing more laps than any other driver in the opening session. In a change of luck from previously in the season, the Protons were running reliably, and were not plagued by unknown mechanical problems like the team was becoming used to.
In the second free practice session, Wilmot’s Proton suffered from a cracked oil cylinder, which subsequently ruined his qualifying session, forcing him to start the opening race from the back of the field. On the other hand, Welch set some strong lap times towards the end of qualifying, allowing him to start from 21st.
A careful start from Welch allowed him to battle for 17th place, and with several retirements ahead of him, he was able to finish in this position.
However, it was race three that would be most successful for the team. Welch once again had a strong performance and held off attacks from AmD Tuning‘s Mike Bushell and West Surrey Racing‘s Rob Collard to finish in 15th position, the final points-scoring place.
“We’ve made progress, which is the main thing, and it’s always good to end the weekend with two healthy cars,” said Welch. “The engines are improving with each session, which was the main aim this weekend, as we’ve not been able to do so far this season. The pace is also getting better and we now have a platform to move forward and start working on the pace. Good to get three race finishes for once and get back into the mix and start racing again. It will also be the first time in 18 months where we haven’t had to take the engines out after a race weekend, which is nice.
“During practice on Saturday, it was a case of revolutionising the wheel and building it up bit-by-bit and not doing anything silly. With every session we have done, the engine has changed. You look at the data, make positive adjustments here and there and continue to progress. Overall, it was a good day. We shouldn’t be happy with finishing 15th and getting a point, but over the last 18 months, it has made a huge difference. We can only look higher up the grid now.”
The next round of the BTCC season will be at Croft on June 27/28.