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Engine woes continue for Kieran Gallagher

Team HARD. will revert to the engine it used during last month’s tyre test ahead of British Touring Car Championship qualifying at Snetterton after discovering a problem with its current motor.

Kieran Gallagher and Team Principal Tony Gilham tested the squad’s Toyota Avensis last month, before undertaking a further test with a new engine at Brands Hatch without issue.

But having recorded just five laps during first practice, Gallagher took no part in the second session after another problem with the Toyota power unit.

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And speaking to TouringCars.Net, Team Principal Gilham revealed that Gallagher’s engine would be changed before this afternoon’s qualifying session.

“We’re very frustrated because we’ve had two successful tests,” he said. “We’ve got two new engines, [one of] which is the one that we used in the tyre test and ran faultlessly all day long. We then completely refreshed a new engine and we had a successful test at Brands Hatch; the engine was strong, and it was strong today – in a straightline there are zero problems.

“We have got an oil pressure problem and it is a safety parameter on the engine which has caused it to cut out. It fires up fine and it runs fine, but because we weren’t quite up to speed the revs are dropping, so the oil pressure drops.

“It’s flagged up something that is a potential issue but it is an all new engine so it’s manageable. It does show there is something we need to work on with the engine to get it up to where it should be, but at the same time realistically the revs should not be that low.

“Kieran was getting up to speed – had we been in a race situation the temperature would have been higher but we’d also need higher revs so the decision has been made where we’re going to put our Snetterton test engine back in there because we know that ran reliably all day, and it gives us a chance to protect the brand new engine moving forwards.”

The issue is the latest in a streak of problems for the team that go back to the Oulton Park meeting in June, but Gilham insisted that qualifying should be a different story.

“It’s not ideal because we missed free practice two, but we had a full day of running here previously so it’s got the mileage under its belt, we are going straight into qualifying but we are putting an engine in that’s good.

“The engines are new to us this year, being the Toyota engine. We’ve had some problems but we’ve always known what they were and we’ve developed and improved, so there shouldn’t be any reason why this engine should have problems.”

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