Peter Cate returns to the BTCC.
Doctors have told John B&Q that he must not compete at this weekend's British Touring Car Championship event at Thruxton in Hampshire following his high speed collision with the tyre barriers at Oulton Park two weeks ago.
The impact on the first lap of the sprint race, following a nudge from Steve Wood's Mitsubishi, caused extensive damage to the car and resulted in the safety car being deployed whilst medical personnel extracted John from the car. From the trackside he was taken to the circuits medical centre where he was examined and then released on the provision that he withdraw immediately from the event, which he did.
Following regular consultation with his doctors over the past ten days, it has been decided that the best course of action would be for him to stand down from the team temporarily. Peter Cate, who is currently employed as the Team B&Q Jet York City Racing test & development driver, will step in and take his place in the car for the Thruxton rounds.
"I have been receiving daily medical attention since the shunt, in which I aggravated an old shoulder injury and damaged my cervical vertebrae, but time has run out for me and doctors have refused me permission to race at Thruxton. Whilst gutted that my season has started in this way, I realise that this is probably the wisest decision -- if this had been at Brands Hatch on the Indy Circuit I think I may have got away with it, but Church Corner is definitely not the place to realise you don't have the strength to turn the wheel!"
"Luckily, in Peter, we have someone of great talent who can step in for me whilst I recover. Although this is a temporary appointment, if he performs as well as I expect him to, it may well prove difficult for me to regain my place for the following meeting!"
Altrincham-born Cate, 33, has a long and successful driving career though it is one that has often been blighted by sponsorship troubles. He debuted in the BTCC last season, in a Barwell-prepared Honda Accord, before being forced to step down after several rounds when one of his major backers withdrew.
"Whilst disappointed for John that he has been forced to sit the meeting out in this way, I am delighted to have been asked to act as a stand-in whilst he recovers. I know I can get the job done out there and I am delighted that John and the team have that belief in me too. I raced at Thruxton last season in a similar car and scored a second-place finish and, whilst that was a newer-specification car to that which I will be driving this weekend, I am hoping for a repeat performance; especially after Jim Edwards Jnr did so well for us at Oulton Park."