Satisfaction at Silverstone! Team PSP takes 3rd place in BTCC Round 7.
David Leslie scored a superb third place in the 15-lap Sprint race to take Team PSP's second podium of the season. Phil Bennett emphasised the team's progress with a stirring drive to seventh place, a great reward for the team's hard work since the character-forming races at Thruxton four weeks ago. In the 25-lap Feature Race, Leslie finished a solid 9th with Bennett in 13th to round off a good weekend for Team PETRONAS Syntium Proton.
Just minutes before the start the heavens opened with a rain shower as forecast. The BTCC teams debated whether to gamble on slicks, or play safe with wets. Team PSP's drivers and engineers took a different approach and started both cars on machined wets-- an' intermediate' choice. The engineers also settled on dry settings for the suspension. Both decisions were vindicated as the track dried towards the end of the race with both Team PSP drivers able to push successfully to the finish.
David Leslie said:"That was a fantastic race - the car was strong throughout. I got a good start making up two places right away. I settled in and let everyone else sort themselves out for a couple of laps then began to push. I was able to make up places right through and managed to take Priaulx in the Honda on the last lap for third. He went wide at Bridge, I held a neater line and took him on the inside. Nice! It's a thrill to stand on the podium for real and I'm so pleased for the team. A great reward for the team and a sign of even better things to come."
Phil Bennett said:"I haven't had so much fun for years! I had to make up for a bad start with too many revs but after that it was great. The car was superb-- the tyre choice was spot on, the chassis was well balanced and we got the result the team deserved. It's a real tonic after Thruxton and a great team effort."
Peter Gillitzer, Race Director, Team PSP said:"Our second hard-won podium is a great reward for the team's effort and commitment. It confirms the progress we know we're making and augurs well for the future."
With sunny weather, the grid took the rolling start on slicks. Just a few laps from the end another shower threatened to upset the race but soon stopped. David Leslie enjoyed a solid drive to 9th place, with evidence on his car of some of the wheelbanging during the rolling start. He said:"I'm happy with the day's work. I had a bit more understeer than ideal towards the end of the race but nothing really to worry about. We've really made progress this weekend."
Phil Bennett said:"My car was pretty good although a little oversteer caught me by surprise, hence my tangle with Warren Hughes when I went off at Copse. Shame really, as he and I were having a great race. I got back on, the lads gave me a great pitstop and cleared the gravel out, and I ran through to the end and 13th place."
David Wong, Team Principal, Team PSP said:"I am very proud of the team which put in a first-rate solid performance this weekend. Our well-earned podium place today shows we're climbing the BTCC ladder."