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Difficult weekend for STR in Hungary

Special Tuning Racing had a mixed weekend during the fifth weekend of the 2012 World Touring Car Championship, a weekend which saw Darryl O’Young secure a brace of top ten qualifying positions while Tom Boardman had a tough and ultimately short weekend.

Both drivers arrived in Hungary upbeat after a solid weekend the previous weekend in Slovakia, with O’Young continuing his strong form during Saturday practice and qualifying and we would start round nine of the season eighth, which meant third for round ten.

At the start of the first race, O’Young was collected in a first corner incident and had to limp back to the pits for repairs. He was able to rejoin the race and thus kept his second row start for the second race of the weekend.

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The damage sustained in the first race of the weekend meant that O’Young started to fall down the order in the second race and wound up thirteenth overall and seventh in the Yokohama Independents’ classification. He held off the Team Aon Ford Focuses in the latter stages of the race and was able to increase his pace.

“This weekend was the complete opposite of last weekend,” explained O’Young. “Last weekend we had a bad qualification but strong races. This weekend we qualified well but had two bad races. The first race was short. The first corner incident with Michelisz then Engstler was a tough result.  The second race we had damage on the car.  My team did very well to fix the damage but we had problems with brakes, and with no brakes it is difficult to finish the race. To get a good weekend you need your car in good condition throughout.”

Boardman knew that he was in for a tough weekend in the turbo diesel powered SEAT Leon and despite setting the fastest time for a diesel around the Hungaroring circuit, he was unable to break the 1m57 barrier.

Qualifying saw Boardman set the twentieth fastest time and as he was unable to improve his lap time, he finished the session early to conserve tyres for the two races.

His weekend was over at the first corner of the opening race as he was hit and ended up in the barriers with substantial damage to the #22 SEAT Leon. The damage couldn’t be repaired in time and Boardman had to miss the second race.

“When you start from the back there is always a possibility that you will be caught up in an incident at the start,” added Boardman. “Last week I managed to avoid trouble, but this week I was very unlucky to be hit after making yet another great start. I am looking forward to Portugal and getting my hands on the new SEAT 1.6t WTCC engine which will hopefully then see me not having to start from such a position”

Next up for the team is a trip to Austria and the Salzburgring over the 19/20 May. The Austrian weekend marks the half way point of the 2012 campaign and the penultimate European race weekend.

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