Nash’s hopes dashed in USA debut at Sonoma

World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) racer James Nash could only manage a best of 17th in the second of Sunday’s two WTCC races on the Sonoma Raceway, near San Francisco in California after a clogged air filter and an overheating engine hampered his efforts.

James Nash, Ford Focus S2000 TC, Team Aon
James Nash, Ford Focus S2000 TC, Team Aon

Photo by: Brad Fox

Milton Keynes-based Nash had flown to California with high hopes of showing well on both his and the WTCC’s first race meeting in the USA and initially in Saturday morning’s Free Practice sessions he ran with the front-runners. Unfortunately though, as the ambient temperature rose Nash’s car wasn’t as strong as it had been in the earlier and cooler part of the day, and following an early end to the afternoon’s Qualifying session due to a red flag, he was unable to do a final run and just missed out on the all-important Q2 session that would determine the first 12 places on the starting grid.

Nevertheless, Sunday’s opening race looked good for Nash early-on as he made his way through the field from 13th on the grid to 8th place in the opening laps. Unfortunately however, due to the dusty nature of the track, dirt and debris found their way into his car’s engine bay and the protective filter became clogged. The inevitable result was that the engine temperature rose and Nash was forced to conceded defeat and retire with just four laps of the race to go to prevent serious damage being done.

While the filter was changed and the engine cooled for the second race, just twenty minutes after the first, it was soon apparent that the earlier overheating had caused some loss of power. Consequently, he could do no better than finish 17th from a back of the grid start.

James Nash: ““To be honest I’m feeling pretty low after that. The team had tested some development parts recently and I came to the US with high hopes of recording top ten finishes to demonstrate the progress we thought we had made since Brazil.”

Source: James Nash

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers James Nash
Article type Race report
Tags focus, ford, nash, sonoma, wtcc