AmD Milltek Racing.com fights to the finish at Silverstone
The AmD Milltek Racing.com team brought the curtain down on its second season in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship with a battling performance on Finals Day at Silverstone.
The West Thurrock-based team went into the season finale eager to end the year on a high, with a 30-car field entered into the three races around the short National Circuit at the ‘Home of British Motorsport’.
After a closely-fought qualifying session, Colchester-racer Martin Byford secured 24th on the grid for the opening race of the weekend and made good progress to work his way into the top 20 before a driveshaft issue forced him into the pits to retire.
An early pit stop in the second race of the weekend saw Martin drop off the lead lap and resulted in a 24th place finish, which was where he would then start the final race of the season at the wheel of his turbo-powered Volkswagen Golf.
With the car the best it had been all weekend for the season finale, Martin produced a storming start to make up seven places on the opening two laps alone and eventually crossed the line in 15th – ahead of newly crowned Independents’ champion James Nash and double BTCC title winner James Thompson.
“I really enjoyed the final race and it was good way for us to finish the season,” he said. “The driveshaft problem in race one meant we were on the back foot for the rest of the day with such a large field, but to come from 24th on the grid to finish 15th is a good result for the team and the car was the best it’s been all weekend.”
Having joined the AmD Milltek Racing.com team for the second half of the season, series debutant Martin clinched a best finish of 14th during his time at the wheel of the VW Golf having shown the potential to run inside the top ten at a number of meetings.
“I have to admit that I’m gutted that I’ve not managed to break into the top ten and score a point in my half season because I feel we’ve deserved it on several occasions,” he said. “However, I’d like to think that I’ve proven myself and shown that I can compete against these guys and I feel that I can now call myself a touring car driver. The focus is now on working hard over the winter to get the budget together for a full season in the BTCC next year.”
AmD Milltek Racing.com end the 2011 season in twelfth place in the HiQ Teams’ Championship and tenth in the Independents’ Team Trophy, with team principal Shaun Hollamby admitting to mixed feelings at the end of the campaign.
“It was a tough weekend but it came to a good end in the final race,” he said. “Again, if the first race had ended differently then we could have been on for some points but that is motorsport for you. The important thing is that the car is in one piece and Martin has had another good run to finish the year.
“Overall I’d say the season has seen flashes of brilliance clouded with disappointment for us. So much work has gone into this year behind the scenes that I think we have deserved more but now we have to regroup, take stock and look at where the Golf stands for next season. We have to see what the finalised rules are for 2012 but we know that the VW has a good chassis and if the grid is all-turbo next year, we could have a more competitive package than we’ve had this year.”
AmD Milltek Racing.com are supported by AmD Essex, Milltek Sport, Tesco Momentum 99, YourRacingCar.com, Mintex, Super Pro, Pipercross, Corbeau, KW, ABS, Cornering Force, Airtec, SFS Hoses, Eurocell and AlignMyCar.