The trio of Toyota Independent drivers’, Frank Wrathall, Adam Morgan and Tony Hughes suffered a mixed weekend during their home round of the 2012 British Touring Car Championship.
Dynojet’s Wrathall is still searching for that elusive first victory at Oulton Park after a tough weekend where he secured a best finish of ninth in the final race of the weekend.
Qualifying saw the 2010 Ginetta G50 Cup Champion set the seventh fastest time of the session, and in round ten he was solidly inside the top ten before having a grassy moment in avoidance of a collision ahead of him. He finished 12th after pitting for the grass to be removed.
He finished the second race down in 17th after another trip to the pits due to another trip over the grass but he rebounded to bring home the #11 Avensis ninth, avoiding all of the chaos out on track.
“A top 10 finish is a good way to end what has been a pretty challenging day to be honest,” said Wrathall. “We qualified well yesterday but we lacked a bit of pace in race one and two today, although the incidents didn’t help us. It was all a bit chaotic in race three but I stayed out of trouble to pick up the points and it has helped us move up a place, to ninth in the championship.”
Hughes in the #50 Speedworks Motorsport Avensis had his best weekend to date in the BTCC as he finished all three races inside the top 15, the first time he has secured a trio of points finishes since joining the Championship in 2011.
He finished qualifying 22nd fastest and this gave him an uphill task come race day. He worked his way up the order to secure a 13th place finish in race one, despite being tipped off the track at Island. His race one result was his best finish to date, until he went one better in the second race of the day.
He secured himself a top twelve finish in the second race and completed his home race weekend with a fourteenth place finish.
“Practice went OK but after qualifying I didn’t think I’d have been in a position to score points in all three races,” added the Stockport racer. “It was frustrating in race one that someone tried to use me as a brake but the car felt great and it was good to pick up points. It was strong again in race two and then in race three, I just wanted to bring the car home and not try to be a hero. The points are good but I was also a lot closer on the times throughout the races, which is a big positive.”
For Adam Morgan, the Oulton Park weekend proved to be one to forget despite showing signs of promise during Saturday’s free practice sessions. He set the seventh best time in both sessions and qualifying saw the 2011 Ginetta GT Supercup Champion finish 16th fastest.
He had worked his way up into the top ten in the opening race before a spin on the final lap forced Morgan into retirement. The second race saw Morgan have issues with a sticking throttle and brake issues and he had to park up – after a run round the full length circuit at Oulton.
The final race saw Morgan complete most of the race without a windscreen after an early race spin and he suffered his third retirement of the weekend after an incident with Will Bratt in the Audi.
“It was a good day on Saturday but Sunday was one to forget,” concluded Morgan. “Qualifying didn’t go to plan as we made a mistake with the tyres and that left us on the back foot. In terms of the results it’s been disastrous, but the positive is that we have showed some good pace and we’ve just got to build on that next time out.”