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Dan Welch: “We can only look higher up now”

Dan Welch insisted that there would be more to come from both he and his team this season, after securing his first point in the British Touring Car Championship in 37 races at Oulton Park.

After two solid finishes in Sunday’s opening two races, Welch had been on course for a first points finish in 20 months, having occupied 15th place for much of the final race.

That chance looked to have gone as Rob Collard snuck ahead of the Proton driver, before a late retirement for Rob Austin promoted Welch back into the points – his first top-15 placing since Brands Hatch in 2013.

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But despite having ended his point-less streak, Welch was more pleased to see his outfit making progress, having endured a hangover at the start of the current campaign from a torrid 2014 season.

“We’ve made progress, which is the main thing, and it’s always good to end the weekend with two healthy cars,” said Welch of the weekend. “The engines are improving with each session, which was the main aim this weekend, as we’ve not been able to do so far this season. The pace is also getting better and we now have a platform to move forward and start working on the pace.

“[It was] Good to get three race finishes for once and get back into the mix and start racing again. It will also be the first time in 18 months where we haven’t had to take the engines out after a race weekend, which is nice.

“During practice on Saturday, it was a case of revolutionising the wheel and building it up bit-by-bit and not doing anything silly. With every session we have done, the engine has changed. You look at the data, make positive adjustments here and there and continue to progress.”

Welch also insisted that the team would not be resting on its laurels despite the result, with his attention now focused on moving further up the order.

Overall, it was a good day,” he enthused. “We shouldn’t be happy with finishing 15th and getting a point, but over the last 18 months, it has made a huge difference. We can only look higher up the grid now.”

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