Dramatic day of testing ends at Thruxton
25 February 2011 – There were a number of striking moments at Thruxton on Thursday as pre-season testing continued for the British Touring Car Championship. Team Aon, Pirtek Racing, West Surrey Racing and Speedworks Motorsport were all in action although almost every driver experienced at least one dramatic incident.
At Pirtek, Andrew Jordan and Jeff Smith were present to drive the Vauxhall Vectra once again, although this time in dry conditions after the rain of Wednesday. However, there was a scare for the former when left-front damper failure took place on the exit of the infamous Church corner. “I’m just glad it wasn’t a 100 yards earlier, or I’d have been on the A303,” Jordan joked.
At Team Aon, the Ford Focus of Tom Chilton was damaged when the Surrey man clouted the kerbs of the Club Chicane at the end of the lap, tearing off part of the front splitter. Later on, the car – then being driven by Andy Neate - was almost hit square on at the Goodwood-Village section by the WSR BMW of Robert Collard.
“I caught Andy so quickly through the previous corner at Noble but as we swung right into Goodwood it was like he just stood on the brakes on the apex,” Collard explained. “I ended up fully sideways in order to miss him - how I didn’t hit him I do not know.”
However, there was far greater damage for Speedworks’ Tony Hughes, who was circulating for mileage in a Renault Clio before receiving his NGTC-spec BTCC Toyota Avensis. “He came off at Goodwood and rolled several times,” a team spokesperson explained to GPUpdate.net, with medical staff having given Hughes the all clear. “He’s absolutely fine but the car isn’t looking great!”
Also in action but out of the wars was the NGTC Avensis prototype, this time in the hands of American Le Mans Series star Marino Franchitti – brother of IndyCar Champion Dario; this was also the first outing for Dunlop’s new-for-2011 18-inch, Thruxton-spec Slick tyres.
Also on Friday:
- Collard pleased despite near-miss with Neate
- Hughes escapes roll in Thruxton test