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Alain Menu hopes ‘the wind will turn’

Alain Menu says that he hopes for the ‘wind to turn’ after experiencing yet more ‘bad luck’ in the British Touring Car Championship at Donington Park on Sunday.

Having qualified in sixth for the day’s opening encounter, Menu eventually finished down in 13th after an incident-filled race in which he struggled with the set-up on his car in the wet. The Swiss racer had an even worse second race, falling off the track on the opening lap after contact and failing to finish.

However Menu once again put in a stellar drive in the final race of the day, making up 22 positions to finish in ninth.

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“It was very good – it just shows what could have been,” said Menu to TouringCars.Net at the end of the day. “In qualifying, on my best lap which was P6, I overtook two cars through the Craners and afterwards we looked at the data and [saw] it’s two tenths, so the lap would have been good enough for third on the grid.”

However Menu bemoaned his team’s lack of testing in the wet and admitted that it had been difficult to find a set-up which worked for him on his Volkswagen Passat CC.

“Unfortunately in the wet we don’t have a set-up and as a team we all struggled in race one,” added the Swiss. “In race two I was unlucky again – I got tapped at the Old Hairpin when Marc Hynes had whatever it was with I don’t know who.”

Despite the bad luck on his return thus far, Menu believes that given a run of good luck he can deliver the results he believes the car has the potential of achieving.

“We showed that we have the pace with the soft tyre,” added Menu. “OK, the top cars carry weight, but we are not far off and we just need to get everything together. We had some bad luck but the wind will turn.”

Menu has so far been pushed hard by team-mate Árón Smith in the first few meetings of 2014, having been out-qualified on Saturday, and the former World Touring Car racer was full of compliments for his Irish team-mate.

“I’ve more experience but he [Árón] has got more experience of this current championship and these cars. It’s good – I think we work well together and he’s a nice guy and he’s quick, so it’s exactly what I need.”

Menu is looking forward to his return to Thruxton in two weeks – a circuit he has not raced at since he made a one-off return to the BTCC for the 2007 season finale. The 50-year-old believes the team will be strong at the fast circuit.

“I used to really like Thruxton but it’s a track which demands some respect, so I think I will need the two free practices to get acquainted to it again,” admitted Menu. “The car should be quick there – I’m pretty convinced that it will be a quick car at Thruxton so I’m definitely aiming for a podium there.”

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