Best Weekend for the BTCC VW Golf!

Best Weekend for the BTCC VW Golf!: click to enlargeAmD Milltek Racing enjoyed their best weekend yet in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton, Norfolk.

Driver and team owner Shaun Hollamby steered the Thurrock based team’s Volkswagen Golf to three race finishes for the first time this season, adding more points to their Independent Team class tally.

There were signs during Saturday morning’s two practice sessions that the Golf’s competitiveness had improved following an engine rebuild and further developments during the Championship’s summer break as Hollamby set best lap times within 2 secs of championship leader Jason Plato’s Chevrolet Cruze.

Qualifying began with light rain falling, which intensified as the session progressed but a cautious Hollamby set 17th fastest time, explaining, “I was too conservative in the wet qualifying with an eye on not damaging the car for tomorrow’s races.”

It looked as though the bad luck that has dogged the team this season had struck again when, as the rest of the field lined up on the grid for Sunday’s first race, the Golf’s alternator was not charging and had to be replaced. Starting from the pitlane, Hollamby was quickly in touch with the pack, earning 16th place by overtaking Arthur Forster’s BMW with 4 laps remaining and then holding off Forster’s strong challenge to regain the place.

Race 2 saw Hollamby go one better, finishing15th after a long battle with West Surrey Racing’s Andy Neate. “It was good to be able to keep the West Surrey Racing car behind me for so long”, said Hollamby. “They’re on a much bigger budget than us and won the Championship last year, so it’s a measure of how much progress we have made this season”.

An early spin marred Hollamby’s final race of the day but he was able to rejoin to bring the Golf home in 15th place again. “I don’t do spinning off, it cost us a couple of places” said Hollamby “but I was pleased with the way I was able to keep up with Tom Onslow-Cole’s LPG-powered Ford Focus through the technical sections of the circuit”.

The BTCC moves on to Silverstone in two weeks time with Hollamby confident of building on the team’s success at Snetterton. “Although we were still some 8-10mph slower than the fastest cars along the straight at Snetterton, we were around 12th-13th fastest through the second sector. This will hopefully make us more competitive at the more technical circuits like Knockhill and Brands Hatch later in the season”.