FINAL SHOWDOWN FOR TOYOTA BTCC MEN AT BRANDS HATCH
Toyota’s four Avensis-driving independent racers head to Brands Hatch this weekend (12/13 Oct) for the final rounds of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season, each hoping to end his season on a positive note.
None is more keen to do so than Frank Wrathall, whose Dynojet Toyota won the final round of 2012 at Brands. “This is our last chance to get the result that we deserve,” said Lancashire-based Frank, 27. “We will all be giving it everything and trying our hardest to repeat what we achieved last year. However, our realistic aim is the top 10, and a top-five finish would be a satisfying result so that we could end the year on a high. The Brands Grand Prix circuit is one of my favourites, and not just because I won there last year. It’s one of the best to drive because of all the fast, flowing corners.”
Wrathall showed strong qualifying form at the Kent circuit when the BTCC last visited, over Easter, and went on to score a sixth-place race finish, which has so far been the highlight of his season.
Speedworks Motorsport racer Dave Newsham enjoyed his best outing of the season a fortnight ago at Silverstone, qualifying third and going on to score a hat-trick of top-10 race finishes. The Inverness racer is looking to build on that at Brands: “We turned a corner with the car at Silverstone; my Avensis is much better now than it has been all year and it feels like our season is just getting going as the year is about to end. For Brands Hatch we will again be trying something different with the set-up. It’s nice to be trying different things and hopefully we can finish on a high on a track I love to drive.”
Newsham’s Speedworks running mate Ollie Jackson says he is hoping for an upturn in results: “Hopefully my weight won’t count against me at Brands Hatch as significantly as it did at Silverstone… Dave should be on for a decent result and I am probably looking to qualify in the top 15 and make the top 10 in the races. We’ll have to see how things go.”
Brands Hatch marks the end of an era for Adam Morgan and the Ciceley Racing team – the season-closing BTCC triple-header will be the last races for Adam as a Toyota Avensis driver. His aim is to stay ahead of his rivals for third place in the Independents Trophy, and to defend his remarkable seventh overall in the drivers championship. “I can’t believe the end of the season is here already – it’s all gone so quickly,” said Adam, who turns 25 later this month.
“I really want to hold on to seventh in the main championship and third in the Independents. I think the Toyota will be quick, and I’m looking to push towards the front. If we could finish the year on a high it would be that much better… It helps that I absolutely love Brands Hatch. It’s one of my favourite tracks; I love it around the back of the circuit, it’s so quick.”
Saturday’s official qualifying is scheduled for 1545 and will be screened live on itv.com/btcc and the first of Sunday’s three races is due off at 1130; all three races are live on ITV4 and ITV4HD.