Joyce bags double-podium for Bidford team Power Maxed Racing at Castle Combe
RUSSELL Joyce expressed his delight after claiming a double-podium for Power Maxed Racing in the Volkswagen Racing Cup category of the 2021 Touring Car Trophy at Castle Combe on Monday.
Joyce, a stalwart of the Bidford team, drove his Volkswagen Mk7 Golf well to claim third place on the grid for the first race of the day.
Unfortunately for team-mate Chris Wallis, his weekend ended before it begun when a tank-slapper sent him into the marshal's post, causing considerable damage to the Mk5 Golf.
After a small delay, race one started in glorious sunshine, with Joyce driving a great race and holding his own to take his first podium of the day in third, and second of the season.
In race two, Joyce managed to bring his Golf home in second place, finishing exactly where he started.
“I’m delighted to come away from Castle Combe with a double podium," said Joyce.
"The PMR team had shown professionalism to deliver me a mega car on a circuit that we had very little previous time at.
"The Castle Combe circuit did not disappoint, with fast, competitive action throughout the day, and proved to be a circuit not for the faint hearted.
"I really feel I’m gelling with the car, and confident that we can find more time to challenge for that first race victory."
Meanwhile in the TCR-UK category, PMR development driver Jac Constable qualified second for race one after being pipped for pole by 0.04s. The Leon Cupra TCR of Dan Kirby came in third, just 0.4s behind Constable, while rally driver Will Butler – competing in his first full season of circuit racing – ended the session ninth.
Constable led the first race for a number of laps before conceding defeat after a fantastic battle with multiple race winner Max Hart. However, a post-race penalty for jump starting cost him ten seconds, leaving him sixth in the standings, despite posting the fastest lap.
Bad luck also fell the way of Kirby too, who, after a short excursion off the circuit, left his cooling ducts full of grass which resulted in the car being down on power.
Kirby was forced to pull off the track and retire. Luckily, no damage was done meaning he could return for the second race.
As for Butler, he struggled to get the best out of his Leon Cupra TCR, but managed to come across the line in eighth to pick up a solid points haul.
For race two, Constable started in sixth, Butler in eighth and Kirby 11th.
Constable fought his way up to third before an incident at turn three saw him spin and drop to the back of the pack.
Facing a serious battle, he worked his way through to sixth before a technical issue forced retirement.
Contact also ended Kirby's race early while Butler, who had found the sweet spot in his Leon Cupra TCR, was getting stuck into some fantastic battles and came home in sixth.
Constable said: "It’s been a slightly frustrating weekend to say the least after missing out on pole by such a small margin.
"It’s great to prove the pace is in the car, though, and I’m very excited for the next round and rest of the season.”
Kirby said: "After promising pace in testing, not to mention qualifying third, it was extremely disappointing to get two non-finishes at Castle Combe.
"I was confident we could have challenged for wins this weekend, but it just wasn’t to be."
Butler added: "I struggled most of the weekend to get a connection with the car.
"After making a number a set-up changes throughout the day, I had a great connection for race two.
"I felt towards the end of the race my confidence came back, and I was able to challenge like I wanted to. Unfortunately, it was a little too late, however I’m still more than happy with sixth."
PMR's next TCR-UK and Volkswagen Racing Cup weekend will take place at Kent’s Brands Hatch circuit on 19th and 20th June.