Impressive BTCC debut for YourRacingCar Fan-funded race team YourRacingCar.com enjoyed an impressive debut in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone, with Phil Glew securing three finishes for the team at its home ...
Impressive BTCC debut for YourRacingCar
Fan-funded race team YourRacingCar.com enjoyed an impressive debut in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone, with Phil Glew securing three finishes for the team at its home race.
Having agreed a deal with Special Tuning UK to move into the BTCC for the Silverstone weekend as part of bigger plans to compete in the series full-time in 2011, YRC enjoyed a successful outing both on and off track, even though a penalty in the final race prevented Phil from securing a point-scoring finish.
Aside from a seat fitting prior to the weekend, opening practice marked Phil's first time at the wheel of the Special Tuning-run SEAT Leon, fitted with the BTCC's Next Generation Touring Car engine. After finishing first free practice in 16th place, Phil improved to 15th in FP2 -- ahead of Tom Boardman in the sister car, which continues to run a normally aspirated SEAT engine.
While confidence was high heading into qualifying, it would end in disappointment for the YRC crew when a driveshaft issue prevented Phil from setting a time and left him at the rear of the field alongside Martin Depper and Martin Johnson -- both of whom missed the qualifying session.
Race One (P14, Fastest Lap 1:01.512):
The issues in qualifying meant Phil started the opening race from 19th on the grid, with the VW Golf of Shaun Hollamby having been withdrawn from the weekend due to an engine issue.
Despite the fact he hadn't been able to practice a race start in the car, Phil got away well to make up places off the line and completed the opening lap in 15th -- having made up four spots in the first mile and a half of racing!
Lapping consistently and without problems in the first race for the car, Phil dropped a position to Gordon Shedden on lap six as the Honda driver recovered from an incident on the opening lap, with Phil then closing onto the rear of the BMW of Andy Neate. Having made up one position through the retirement of David Pinkney's Vauxhall, Phil then made a move stick on track as he got ahead of Neate on lap ten and then pulled out an advantage of nearly five seconds over the BMW before the chequered flag flew.
Encouragingly, Phil finished the race within 20 seconds of winner Tom Chilton despite the unproven package of the SEAT and NGTC engine and picked up an Independents' points finish.
Race Two (P13, Fastest Lap 1:01.473):
Phil started the second race of the weekend from 14th on the grid and held his position through the opening lap before climbing to 13th on lap two. Having been briefly knocked back a place, Phil continued his forward progress to climb as high as twelfth despite an issue with the gearbox on his car.
Crossing the line just behind Tom's normally aspirated SEAT, Phil secured two Independents' points and set a fastest lap just three-tenths of a second behind race winner Tom Chilton.
Race Three (P13, Fastest lap 1:01.650):
A chaotic start to the final race allowed Phil to climb up to tenth place at the end of the opening lap as he targeted a points scoring finish to the weekend. The SEAT then moved into ninth place when an incident ahead saw Andrew Jordan retire and Phil was lapping strongly and well placed to end YRC's first weekend in the BTCC with a solid top ten.
However, that all changed when Phil was handed a drive-through penalty for running off-track at Copse -- despite a number of other drivers having done the same repeatedly throughout the day without penalty. That meant he dropped down to 13th place at the finish although he still secured more Independents' points towards his tally.
Phil Glew -- Driver: "It had definitely been a productive weekend for us. We knew it wasn't going to be easy and it was frustrating to start with as we had some niggles with the car, but we have done well to get into a position where we were able to fight for points. It's just disappointing that we have been penalised for running wide when others have done the same and nothing happened. Personally, there was nothing I could do to prevent it as we were suffering from understeer with the car and I was drifting wide as a result.
"I hope my performances have been well received by the YRC members and I think things have gone better than we expected them to from the weekend as a whole. It's just disappointing that we didn't get a points finish to reward the team and everyone who has worked so hard in recent weeks to make this happen."
Hannah James -- YourRacingCar team manager: "The result of the final race is a disappointment as I feel like we were robbed of a top ten finish, but the weekend as a whole has been everything that we hoped for from the BTCC and more besides. The support from the YRC members has been fantastic and the sponsors who have been with us for the weekend have all been impressed by what they have seen. The guys from Special Tuning have been brilliant with the car and Phil has done exactly what we expected behind the wheel.
"We owe massive thanks to Talent Works, Glasurit, WD-40, 3 in 1, SEATCupra.net, Special Tuning and all the YRC members -- old and new -- for making this possible. We will now sit down and look at what we have learned from this weekend and continue to work on our plans for 2011 but this isn't the last you'll see of YRC in the BTCC!"
Neil Purcell -- MD Talent Works International: "The weekend has been phenomenal. We've been involved in sponsorship before but it was exciting to be so involved with the team and be a real part of things. It's a shame that the decision in race three meant there was no top ten finish, especially for Phil for the job he did behind the wheel and for Hannah. They deserved more."