Ford Team Hotfiel Sport in the points at WTCC round at Silverstone
Ford Team Hotfiel Sport claimed its first points of the FIA World Touring Car Championship season at Silverstone today. Thomas Jaeger scored a point in both races in his Ford Focus RS WTCC as both he and team-mate Thomas Klenke claimed their best-ever results by finishing in the top 20 in both the two 20-minute sprints.
In the first race, Klenke managed a good start and piled on the pressure on Seat driver Valle Maekelae in 18th position. The two were dicing for position until the same misfire that had already plagued Klenke during practice and qualifying came back. He dropped back right in front of Thomas Jaeger.
Jaeger himself had experienced a clean run thus far. "We managed to reduce the kick-back of the rear for the race. It was still there but not as bad as yesterday," said the 28-year-old from Munich. Jaeger held the Honda of Adriano de Micheli and the BMW of Carl Rosenblad and Guiseppe Ciro at bay, then passed Klenke on lap 11 to take 18th position off his team mate. The Ford duo then finished the race in the same formation. "My misfire was holding me back, and the car was jumping around more and more as the race went on," reported Klenke.
The first lap of heat 2 was marked by a crash that required a safety car period. Since the accident happened right in front of them, both Ford drivers suffered in the aftermath. "I was pushed from behind when taking avoiding action," recalled Jaeger. "As a consequence of that push, I ended up running into somebody else, hitting the other car with my left front tyre. The rim broke. I was experiencing understeer and vibrations ever after." Nevertheless, Jaeger still defended 17th place to the line.
Klenke started the second race with softer springs at the front in an attempt to cure the jumping rear-end. "In the accident on the first lap, another car ran into me. My toe-in was knocked out of line and I suffered from massive understeer in left turns. In addition to my ongoing misfire, I couldn't manage any more than 18th place."
Team principal Hans Hotfiel said: "Finishing inside the top 20 and scoring points in both races was a good achievement. It underlines the fact that we are making progress with the car. It's a sign of encouragement for the entire team to carry on with the development work they have done. We have seen that the work is paying off, and we've got the first reward for all the effort that the team have put in."