'Peugeot CoupÃ©s Potential Shows Through and Peugeot 306 Sets Fastest Lap In Rounds 13 and 14' RACE REPORT Knockhill race circuit proved challenging for the Peugeot 406 CoupÃ¨ Race Team on race day as the remote Scottish circuit played host...
'Peugeot Coupés Potential Shows Through and Peugeot 306 Sets Fastest Lap In Rounds 13 and 14'
Knockhill race circuit proved challenging for the Peugeot 406 Coupè Race Team on race day as the remote Scottish circuit played host to rounds thirteen and fourteen of www.theAA.com BTCC race.
A wet SPRINT race saw 406 Coupè driver Steve Soper on the tail of Phil Bennett's Egg Sport Vauxhall. After being held up for a lap by Bennett, Soper made an over -taking manoeuvre up the inside of the Vauxhall on the exit of Taylor's hair-pin. However, Bennett suddenly steered across trying to prevent the move, causing heavy contact between the two cars. This resulted in both cars spinning off onto the grass causing terminal damage to Soper's car, but allowing the instigator to continue in the race. A serious reprimand for Bennett by race officials afterwards was little consolation for the Peugeot team.
Eaves, pushing his 406 Coupè to the limit, over-braked into Duffus Dip resulting in a head-on collision with the tyre wall. Peugeot Motorsport Director, Mick Linford commented; "Dan hit the tyre wall hard causing damage to both chassis rails and inner wings. Unfortunately his car was too badly damaged to compete in the Feature race."
Results: SPRINT RACE - Touring Class
Position, Driver, Car, Time
1 Jason Plato Vauxhall Astra 19:31.267
2 Yvan Muller Vauxhall Astra 19:31.821
3 James Thompson Vauxhall Astra Coupe 19:37.937
4 Thomas Erdos Lexus 1S200 19:39.658
5 Phil Bennett Vauxhall Astra Coupe 19:44.700
With Eaves car out, Soper was left to contend the FEATURE race alone. After eight laps under the safety car, because production class driver Colin Blair rolled his car at the pit-straight, Soper made his charge on near perfect track conditions leading the race for several laps. Soper was forced back to fourth after a 24 second pit-stop, where the front near-side wheel nut bound up on the refitting.
With Tomas Erdos (Lexus) and Yvan Muller (Vauxhall) out of the race due to the prop shaft braking and power steering respectively, the race went to Vauxhall's Jason Plato.
Ex Peugeot works driver Simon Harrison in his HTML Peugeot 306 set fastest lap in both the Sprint and Feature race in his production class with a 57.608 and 57.470 respectively. Harrison also took 3rd in both races.
Results: FEATURE RACE - Touring Class
Position, Driver, Car, Time
1 Jason Plato Vauxhall Astra Coupe 48:06.648
2 Phil Bennett Vauxhall Astra Coupe 48:13.206
3 James Thompson Vauxhall Astra Coupe 48:36.991
4 Steve Soper Peugeot Coupe 48:48.139
Eaves commented, "It's frustrating. We have made positive changes to the set-up of my car that I have unfortunately been unable to prove the benefit of. This was due to the under bonnet fire yesterday and then the incident this afternoon in the Sprint race."
Soper, (who last won at Knockhill in a BMW in 1994) commented, "It's been a tough weekend. After being shunted off by Bennett in the Sprint race and unable to finish I was glad to have made the grid in the Feature race. Unfortunately I lost a certain third place when the team had the problem with the wheel nut during my pit-stop."
Peugeot Motorsport Director, Mick Linford commented, "Steve lost an almost certain podium position in the Sprint race and then again in the Feature race, both situations being outside his own control. We are now in the position of being able to mix in with the Egg Sport Vauxhalls and look forward to strengthening that position at Snetterton. "
Coverage from Knockhill can be seen next weekend on BBC Grandstand. Check local press for details.
Rounds 15 and 16 of the www.theAA.com BTCC take us to Snetterton, Norfolk for the second night race of the season.