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Double finish for James Nash on WTCC début

James Nash started off his FIA World Touring Car Championship career with two race finishes during the opening rounds of the season at Monza, but he failed to trouble the points scoring positions in either race.

Qualifying saw the reigning British Touring Car Championship Independent Champion start from 14th position. In his first race in the Team Aon Ford Focus at Monza he was caught up in a first corner accident which compromised his race and Nash was forced to race wtihout the aerodynamic benefits of his front bumper.

Despite the efforts of the Team Aon mechanics, Nash headed into the second race with a scarred car as the team were unable to fix all of the damage in the fifteen minute repair window. Nash would finish the second race in 13th position, but he was pleased with securing a double race finish on his WTCC debut for Team Aon, who was also making their first appearance in the WTCC.

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Looking back over his WTCC debut, Nash said: “I’m pleased to have finished both races on my debut, though obviously would like to have made the top 10 which was the aim ahead of the weekend. We’ve already got mechanical reliability and I’d like to also say a special thank you to the team for enabling me to keep racing after the race one incident.

“There wasn’t much I could have done to avoid becoming involved in the race one first corner crash which was unfortunate. Despite the fantastic work of the team to get as much of the damage repaired as possible within the 15 minutes allowed, we had other damage we couldn’t repair in time. Consequently, the handling thereafter wasn’t quite right and the result was that I wasn’t able to offer a real challenge in race two.”

Despite missing out on the top ten, Nash is upbeat about the overall performance and the potential of the package going forward, with the third and fourth rounds of the season taking place in three weeks time, at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, Spain.

Nash added: “Okay, we just missed out on a top 10 finish but we know now that when the handling of the car is right and that our pace isn’t too far adrift of the leaders. My time in this morning’s warm-up proved that this is the case. I was quite a bit faster than I could manage in either of the races when I had handling issues to contend with.

“Remember too, that the car is all-new and at the beginning of its development. We’re actually closer to the leading cars in terms of speed than we thought we might be ahead of our debut and there is definitely time to come from the car as we get on top of things, as we surely will.”

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