United Kingdom FlagDonington disappointment for

Donington disappointment for click to enlargeThe team endured a frustrating weekend as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship headed to Donington Park for the second round of the season, with a series of issues meaning the team headed home from the event without a race finish to its name.

The West Thurrock-based outfit had headed into the weekend buoyed by a double points finish in the season opener at Brands Hatch, with Attleborough-based driver Ollie Jackson eager to build on the pace he had shown on his first outing in the team’s turbo-powered Volkswagen Golf.

Unfortunately, the weekend didn’t start well when an alternator issue meant Ollie was forced to return to the pits without setting a timed lap in the opening practice session, while an issue with the brakes on the car then meaning he had to settle for 20th in the second 40 minute session.

Despite that, hopes were high of a solid run in qualifying but with an engine not performing at its best, Ollie had to settle for the 19th quickest time.

Having decided to change the engine in the car overnight, Ollie lined up on the grid for the opening race of the weekend but with the mapping on the engine incorrect, he found himself off the pace and wasn’t classified at the finish after a number of pit visits.

Evaluating the situation, the team took the decision to withdraw from the remainder of race day in order to avoid causing damage to the engine and will now regroup ahead of the third round of the campaign at Thruxton in a fortnight.

“We just haven’t had a chance to show what we can do this weekend,” Ollie reflected. “We’d had our issues on Saturday but the braking issue was sorted for race day and the car was handling really well; we were just down on speed because of the mapping issue.

“We didn’t expect the mapping to be out like it was and it was the right decision not to compete in the other races as we would have risked blowing the engine up and that would have put us in a difficult position ahead of Thruxton. It’s been tough, but we’ll fight back from it.”

Team boss Shaun Hollamby shared in Ollie’s disappointment at the way in which the weekend had unfolded, especially as Donington had previously been one of the strongest circuits for the Golf.

“It’s a shame as we showed good pace at Brands Hatch and we should have gone even better here,” he said. “However, it wasn’t to be. We’ve now got to sort the problems out and make sure we are up to speed at Thruxton so Ollie has a car that he can challenge with and we will go there aiming to show the kind of speed we showed last year.

“Before the season started, we had an issue with our new engine in testing which meant we were running an old one for these first two rounds and that has really led to our problems this weekend – it left us on the back foot. Having said that, we didn’t think the mapping would be so different on the replacement engine compared to the old one, so we’ll now get the car onto the rolling road and sort the mapping out so that we are ready to go in a fortnight.”