Hughes and Speedworks set to miss ThruxtonPosted: April 24, 2011 Filed under: British Touring Cars | Tags: BTCC 2011, Speedworks, Thruxton, Tony Hughes Leave a comment
The Speedworks Toyota team will not be on the grid in a week’s time at Thruxton as they have said they will skip the third round of the season to work on curing their numerous technical problems.
The team had been suffering persistent power steering problems on Tony Hughes’ Next Generation Touring Car spec Toyota Avensis during the first two rounds of the season, as well as further mechanical difficulties that the team feel they need to work on before they return to the series.
The car also suffered a lot of panel damage in race three at Donington last weekend when Dave Newsham lost control of his Geoff Steel BMW and t-boned Hughes’ Toyota on the start/finish straight in a crash-strewn start.
The team have opted to skip the Thruxton event to work on the problems so they can be fighting fit rather than trying to iron out their problems on the race weekends, team boss Christian Dick preferring the team to work productively on the car to repair the car’s technical issues rather than risk damaging the car further at Thruxton with the car already carrying difficulties.
The absence of Tony Hughes means that the entry list for Thruxton now stands at 22 cars for the event on May 1st, where only one Toyota Avensis will therefore appear on the grid at the high-speed Hampshire circuit in the hands of Frank Wrathall for Dynojet.
The Lancashire driver also suffered technical glitches that hindered his weekend at Donington, but all-in-all Wrathall and the new NGTC Avensis showed their true performance after Wrathall was fighting with BTCC double champions Matt Neal and Jason Plato on track in race three, ableit a few laps down.
Rob Austin Racing intend to run two Audis with Dave Pinkney certain to race one of the A4s, although there are question marks over the readiness of the second car, as well as who would drive it.
Speedworks will return to the championship in round four when the Touring Cars make their trip to Oulton Park in June, while they will be joined for the first time this season by Lea Wood, who will return to the series in a Honda Integra Type-R for the Central Group Racing team.