The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship enjoys a “summer break” with the next races not being staged until 3rd August with United Autosports looking to use the period to take stock and move forward.
Glynn Geddie, who had set the seventh and fifth fastest times in the two free practice sessions earlier on Saturday, held down eighth on the grid early in qualifying but had to settle for a row 10 start after officials disallowed his fastest time for exceeding track limits with Cole one row further back for race one.
Unfortunately it was the same old story with the battling United Autosports duo starting each of the three races towards the rear of the grid – it meant that they were engulfed in the thick of the action as soon as the green light flashed on. Incidents aplenty in all three races, often with bodywork damaging consequences requiring pit-stops to repair the damage, conspired to prevent Geddie and team-mate James Cole from progressing up the field around the 2.25-mile Croft circuit. Ultimately, two top-20 results was scant reward for the team.
#20 Drivecool – Toyota Avensis
James Cole (GB). Age: 25. Born: Southport, England. Lives: Liverpool, England.
“Unfortunately we didn’t extract everything from the Toyota in qualifying which made the opening race very difficult due to my start position. In the opening two races, each time I got myself into a decent position I was hit and only race three was ‘clean’. Getting involved in the bumping and banging is down, in the main, to our start positions which we must improve on for the remainder of the season.”
#21 – Toyota Avensis
Glynn Geddie (GB). Age: 24. Born & Lives: Aberdeen, Scotland.
“The weekend actually got off to a good start in practice, the pace was good, but in qualifying I had my quickest time taken off me. I was hit in all three races. I finished 23rd in race two but my lap times were comparable with the top-10 guys – it’s all down to qualifying higher up the grid.”
Richard Dean, Team Owner and Managing Director, United Autosports:
“There is little point going into the details of the three Croft races – our weekend can be simply summed up: Qualifying. We arrived at Croft honestly believing that our grid positions would be better and in practice, these hopes were validated.
“The reverse grid race shows that if you start around 10th on the grid invariably that’s the finishing position, these cars are able to hold position. Likewise, if you look at the likes of Plato and Neal, for example, starting near the back of race three, they cannot progress up the field without having contact.
“Therefore we have to concentrate totally on our qualifying performance – it’s a simple fact. We have good race pace but we’re unable to show it because we cannot stay out of trouble starting down where we’re qualifying.”