Brands Hatch: David Pinkney qualifying report

TEAMWORK PAYS DIVIDENDS FOR PINKNEY AT BRANDS HATCH David Pinkney will start from twelfth on the grid for the opening race of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship weekend at Brands Hatch after a huge effort from his Pinkney Motorsport...

TEAMWORK PAYS DIVIDENDS FOR PINKNEY AT BRANDS HATCH

David Pinkney will start from twelfth on the grid for the opening race of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship weekend at Brands Hatch after a huge effort from his Pinkney Motorsport team allowed the Harpenden-racer to take part in qualifying at the Kent circuit.

The team had worked hard during the week leading up to the event to repair damage sustained in the final race of the weekend at Rockingham a week earlier, and the Brands Hatch meeting started well when David was fourth quickest in the opening practice session.

However, David was then forced to pull off the circuit in the second session after suffering gearbox failure, which left the team facing a race against time to get the distinctively-liveried Vauxhall Vectra on track for qualifying.

Having been forced to remove the engine from the car and rebuild the gearbox, Pinkney's team was able to get him out on track shortly after qualifying started and a best lap of 1min 32.921secs was good enough for twelfth on the grid -- although a top eight starting slot was on the cards before David lost time in traffic on his quick lap.

"These guys are the best team in the paddock," he said after the session. "I really didn't think they were going to get the car out in time for qualifying and I was chuffed to bits -- and surprised -- that they did. I lost about four tenths of a second behind the Volkswagen on my fastest lap which would have put me around the top six so the car is certainly quick, and I'm confident that we can maintain that kind of pace on race day.

"We've made some changes to the suspension that have transformed the car; it's a completely different machine compared to Thruxton and Rockingham. There are still some small tweaks we can make to get more from it, but the car is much, much better this weekend."

Team manager Andrew Dean was also full of praise for the team after it won its battle to take part in the qualifying session.

"The fact that we even made it out for qualifying was thanks to a herculean effort from the guys after we suffered a significant gearbox problem in the second practice," he said. "They had to take the engine and the gearbox out of the car, rebuild the gearbox with assistance from X-Trac, and then get it all back together in a short period of time. They managed to get the car back on the ground, fired up and into the session having only missed ten minutes, which was fantastic.

"Missing those ten minutes meant we were on the back foot a little but David put in a good time and we know there is still more speed in the car as he lost out on his fastest lap. It's a little disappointing in that respect, to be twelfth on the grid when we know we could have been higher, but it was amazing that we were able to take part in qualifying at all. The guys deserve a big pat on the back."

-source: david pinkney

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Series BTCC