Tom Onslow-Cole BTCC Race Report. Round 7: Knockhill
We caught up with our resident race-ace after a simply superb weekend at Knockhill. Clearly becoming ‘at one’ with the podium, Mr Onslow Cole has done wonders for his points tally after a masterful set of drives.
Getting to be a bit of a regular thing this, Tom! Well done! Talk us through qually
Thanks very much! It has been a wonderful weekend all round really – and I’m delighted for the team and Rob in particular, as it’s been pretty much perfect for all of us. Knockhill is such a feature-filled track; it will always be one of my favourites. Dry testing saw my times being the quickest, but with the wet-weather settling in for qually, the best I could manage was 4th. It looked like it would dry later though, so both Rob and I were feeling confident. The new diff changes, which proved so good last time out at Snett, were also working well here at Knockhill, so we were hanging onto tyres for much longer yet again. It’s making a real difference
It all dried out for Race 1...Did that make much difference?
Well I didn’t quite get the best start, despite the extra grip! I did manage to move up to 2nd behind Rob fairly quickly though, letting Plato and Smith have their little tussle. The Safety Car also helped us immensely too, to be honest. We both got a great re-start and managed to pull away from the rest of the pack almost immediately. After that it was simply a case of us both being able to drive the exact lines we wanted and let everyone else fight behind. With time to spare, we even managed to swap leading laps for maximum points and have a 15 second lead at the end. You have to take these easy races when they come to you! I managed to notch up a fastest lap in this one too, which is always a bonus!
Race 2 was a similar story, but the ballast seemed to affect both WSR cars slightly differently. Mine gained a lot of oversteer which was hurting my corner speeds a little, so although I could hold my position, Rob was able to slowly edge away in the end. We were still a good distance away from the rest of the pack, but I definitely had to work a little bit harder to catch the car mid-corner this time. That said, there was only just over a second between us at the line, so it was still a good fight.
Race 3 was the reverse grid, of course, meaning I started in 9th. It had rained prior to the start, but there was no standing water - so almost all cars opted to go out on slicks. It was slippery for the first few laps, but nothing too outrageous. I lost a little ground to begin with, but soon started to make it up, passing Shedden, Foster and Paul O’Neill, who seemed to be having a great weekend! I managed to set another fastest lap, but after all was said and done, I finished 5th. I enjoyed this race the most of all of them bizarrely, as I actually got to chase, defend and use a little racecraft!
Overall, it’s been a simply fantastic weekend. As ever, my heartfelt thanks to the team and supporting cast for such a great job. The car is getting better and better all the time!
Catch Tom and his Ebay Motors BMW in action at the next BTCC round: Rockingham on the 22nd and 23rd September.