BTCC

Late substitute Whorton-Eales scores points in BTCC return

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Ant Whorton-Eales BTCC
Credit: Marc Waller

As a last minute replacement for Tom Boardman at AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, Ant Whorton-Eales wasn’t expected to tear up the competition last weekend at Snetterton.

Plus with an extra 45kg of ballast due to him being a mid-season replacement, challenging for good results was made even tougher.

With no prior experience with the MG6 GT, the ballast severely affected the first qualifying session for Ant as he set the thirtieth fastest time for race one. The second qualifying session where each car ran with its base weight, Ant could only manage twenty-ninth.

Race one in incredibly tough conditions saw the Lichfield driver manage to battle his way into the top twenty, even despite spinning off track during one point. Later though, a collision with a rival gave the MG man a puncture and he had to make do with twenty-third.

In one of the best drives of the weekend, Ant showcased talents in greasy conditions for race two as he worked his way into tenth place. Highlighting the pace that he showed glimpses of last season and why Shaun Hollamby offered him an Audi drive for 2018 before deciding on taking part in the MINI Challenge.

A reverse grid race three would have been perfect at this moment, but due to the BTCC anniversary celebrations, he was to start twenty-ninth due to his performance in the second qualifying.

Hovering around the tail end of the points for most of the Diamond Double race three, robust moves and close action in the closing stages of the race saw Ant drop to sixteenth at the flag which is painfully just one position outside of the points.

Despite this, his heroics in race two should satisfy the twenty-four year old and the AmD squad.

“It’s been a really good weekend and I’m really pleased to come away from Snetterton with a points finish.

“The start of the weekend was a bit of a struggle because of the weight we had to carry and the lack of time in the car, but we kept making improvements and then the conditions worked in our favour on race day.

“We had a decent car in the wet in race one but couldn’t get the result because of contact, and in the changing conditions in race two it was great to fight our way through to tenth – it’s just a shame there was no reverse grid this time!

“In race three I tried to take it easy on the tyres early on so that I could push in the later stages but the performance dropped away and it became quite frustrating because of the way that affected the handling.

“It’s a shame to miss out on the points but it was a good weekend as a whole and thanks to Shaun and the team for trusting me to come in and do a job.”

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