GKR TRADEPRICECARS.COM AIM TO IMPRESS ON HOME SOIL
GKR TradePriceCars.com will hope to impress on track when the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship heads for Brands Hatch’s Grand Prix configuration this weekend (8/9 August) for the second event of the 2020 campaign.
Taking place just a week after the season opener at Donington Park, the Brands Hatch meeting will be the second of four events in a busy five-week period – and the first on home soil this season for the Essex-based squad.
The Donington Park opener saw a solid performance on track for the two GKR TradePriceCars.com Audi S3s, with Bobby Thompson securing a pair of points scoring finishes, and series newcomer James Gornall showing impressive pace on his debut – with his hopes of points only being ended by an unfortunate engine issue whilst dicing for the top ten in his very first race.
Thompson enjoyed some of his best results of the 2019 season at Brands Hatch, taking four points finishes across the six races at the Kent circuit – including a career-best sixth place finish on the shorter Indy layout.
The 24-year-old has plenty of experience around his home circuit and heads into the second race weekend buoyed by a competitive display on his first race outing in the Audi last week in the East Midlands.
Currently ninth in the Independents’ championship and just seven points off the lead of the Jack Sears Trophy, Thompson will be looking to put more solid points on the board to aid his title challenge, with his aim being to try and break into the top ten for the first time this season.
Despite being one of three rookies in the field this season, Gornall wasted no time in showing his pace at Donington, where he ran well in the points in race one before his engine dramas, and then raced from the back of the field to just miss out on the points in race three.
The 36-year-old has an enviable record of success around the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, winning in both the British GT Championship and the MINI Challenge UK en route to the respective championship titles.
Eager to try and maintain his impressive form around the iconic Kent circuit, Gornall heads into the weekend looking to not only make up places in the Independents’ and Jack Sears Trophy standings, but also to put his first overall points on the board.
With no fans in attendance again this weekend as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, qualifying will stream live via itv.com/btcc from 1510 on Saturday (8 August) and all of the action can be enjoyed live on ITV4 on Sunday (9 August), with coverage starting at 1020 and the three races set to run at 1050, 1330 and 1730.
“I can’t wait to get to Brands Hatch this weekend,” said Thompson. “I’m feeling good about my home round. I know the track well as I do a lot of driving work there with customers; I know it like the back of my hand.
“We have a two week break after Brands Hatch so I think we might see some people getting their elbows out a bit more than then they did at Donington Park – even though it was like a wrestling match at times there! It’s going to be a tough weekend like they always are, but I feel we’ll have a good race car on the Grand Prix layout.
“I’m going to spend a bit of time looking at the data from last season and will watch some of the onboard videos from Jake [Hill], but I’m going to Brands Hatch fighting for three sets of points and pushing for the top ten.”
“I feel good going to Brands Hatch,” said Gornall. “I have a good record on the Grand Prix layout having won in both British GT and the MINI Challenge. It’s an interesting circuit and I’m pleased I got Donington under my belt before going Brands in a touring car, because you really have to hang it all out round there and it would have been an interesting place to make my debut!
“More dry track time is going to be helpful for me and I’ll approach the weekend in the same way I approached the first event. I need to learn as much as I can early in the weekend, and then try to get into a better position in qualifying so I can come out all guns blazing for race day.
“I showed at Donington that I have the pace to fight for points, so I’m confident that I can open my account during the weekend ahead.”