Bidford-based British Touring Car Championship team Power Maxed Racing endure frustrating weekend at Snetterton
TEAM principal Adam Weaver says Power Maxed Racing will learn from the challenges faced at Snetterton at the latest round of the British Touring Car Championship.
With 4,000 spectators allowed to watch trackside each day, the Bidford-based team were looking to impress and follow on from their decent showing at the opening round of the series at Thruxton in May.
Trialling some new set-ups on the Vauxhall Astras in the first free practice sessions, which ultimately didn’t pay off, Dan Lloyd finished in sixth and two-time champion Jason Plato in 12th.
For the second practice session, Lloyd and Plato spent 45 minutes in the garage for set-up changes.
This in turn limited time on the track, with Lloyd missing out on a top-ten spot by 0.05s while Plato was again slightly further back in 15th.
Snetterton saw the return of the top-ten shoot-out format during qualifying, meaning the ten fastest drivers would head out onto the track for a ten-minute showdown to decide grid positions for race one.
Lloyd reached the shoot-out where he eventually bagged eighth with a time of 1:56.492. With Plato carrying 57kg of success ballast, hampering his car’s performance, his time of 1:56.948 placed him 18th for Sunday’s first race.
Race one would start well for Lloyd, who worked his way up to sixth before crossing the line in seventh after a late move on Ollie Jackson’s move cost him a place.
Further back Plato was fighting balance issues and had to settle for 17th.
Hoping for better fortunes in race two, Plato opted for the option soft compound tyre and, thanks to a lack of success ballast, would make up places quickly at the start.
However, with the tyres eventually dropping out their operating window, the BTCC stalwart would finish 20th.
Lloyd too was battling balance issues and after an incident with the Hyundai of Chris Smiley cost him a number of places, he eventually finished 12th.
Narrowly missing out on the reverse grid draw, Lloyd started 12th for race three. As the session went on, the changes made to his car became obvious and the former TCR champion began setting times that would have seen him hold his own in the top five places.
In the end, though, Lloyd would cross the line in 13th while Plato finished in 18th to conclude a frustrating weekend for team principal Weaver.
“Obviously I would’ve liked us to take home some more silverware, and having scored well at Thruxton, it’s only natural to feel disappointed leaving the circuit without it,” he said.
“Knowing that both Dan and Jason gave it their absolute all confirms for me that we have one of the strongest pairings on the grid, but it also means we need to have a long hard look at our data and the direction we have gone with the set-up of the car – I feel we have let them both down to a certain extent.
“However, hearing Dan talking positively about the set-up changes following race three means we may find the sweet spot a bit faster than I was starting to fear.
“I know we have a great team and that you learn more from the challenges you face than from success, so as we head to Brands Hatch, we’re buoyed by the fact that Jason won the season finale there in 2019 by some distance, and we’re looking forward to getting stuck in and coming away with trophies, in front of the crowds again.”
Round three of the BTCC takes place around the Indy layout of Brands Hatch on 26th-27th June.