James Gornall admits that he enjoyed his début in the British Touring Car Championship at Donington Park last weekend, even though the 2008 British GT champion missed out on the points.
The GKR TradePriceCars.com driver is one of three rookies on the grid this season, and expectations were that 36-year-old Gornall would be one to watch given his prior racing pedigree in single seaters and GT racing.
On Saturday, Gornall qualified in 19th, just one tenth behind team-mate Bobby Thompson, who has two years’ experience in racing front-wheel drive touring cars.
Hunting for points on Sunday, Gornall ran door-to-door with Thompson for much of the race, but ultimately endured frustration as he suffered from an engine issue which forced him to retire.
Unfortunately for Gornall, the team was unable to change the engine in time for race two, leaving him to watch from the sidelines and start the final race from the back of the grid.
From the last row for race three, Gornall made up five places on the opening lap, but he ultimately finished the race just shy of the points in 16th place.
After his first weekend of touring car racing, Gornall saw positives in his performances and believes that he could have scored points in the final race, but for being held up by Motorbase Performance’s Andy Neate.
“Although there are some disappointments, there are also positives for me to take away from this weekend and I think we showed good pace in the final race,” said Gornall.
“Had it not been for the fact that Andy Neate held a few of us up on the restart and left a gap as large as the English Channel to the cars ahead, we could even have scored some points.
“Had we finished race one and then been able to build on that in race two, we might have been able to benefit from the reverse grid for that final race and then it would have been a different story given the pace we had.
“I’ve enjoyed getting my elbows out this weekend and it’s different to what I have done before, but I’m pleased to have got involved in some scraps and shown what I can do.”