TOUGH TIMES FOR GKR TRADEPRICECARS.COM AT KNOCKHILL
GKR TradePriceCars.com endured a challenging weekend on track as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship headed for Knockhill for the fourth event of the campaign.
The squad made the trip to Scotland looking to challenge for more championship points but it would prove to be a tough outing for drivers Bobby Thompson and James Gornall.
Despite both lapping within a second of pole position, the highly competitive nature of the field meant that Thompson and Gornall had to settle for 20th and 23rd on the grid, leaving them with work to do on race day on a circuit where overtaking can be quite difficult.
The opening race would end in disappointing fashion for Gornall when he was caught out by cars ahead slowing when the action was about to restart after an early safety car period, with damage sustained as he made contact with the Ford of Andy Neate forcing him to retire.
Thompson suffered a tough start to the race having slipped back down to 23rd, but recovered well despite struggling for front end grip, fighting his way up to 18th by the finish.
Thompson pushed hard in the second race to fight his way through to 16th place at the finish, picking up places with a number of opportunistic moves. However, he would then be excluded from the results for a technical infringement resulting in the 24-year-old starting race three from the back of the grid.
Gornall would be forced to contend with an alternator issue that caused a loss of power steering, but he wrestled the Audi to the finish in 20th place.
Both drivers were then able to avoid a multi-car accident that resulted in the final race being red-flagged and would end the restarted 20 lap encounter with Gornall as the better placed of the pair in 18th, having lost a place to the BMW of Carl Boardley in the closing laps after a race-long battle.
Thompson was one place further back in 19th, with the two drivers now hoping for a return to form when the series heads to Thruxton for the fifth event of the 2020 season in little under a fortnight.
“We had a challenging time as we struggled with straight-line speed and it was an uphill battle in the races,” reflected Thompson. “I pushed hard to try and move forwards in the first two races and had some luck on my side to make up places as others had issues. We got close to the points in race two before the exclusion, which put us on the back foot again.
“From the back in race three it was always going to be difficult and I managed to avoid the incident ahead which was the big plus as we could have picked up some real damage in that one. We’ve a few weeks to regroup ahead of Thruxton.”
“It was a really difficult weekend,” acknowledged Gornall. “Through Saturday I felt we were making good progress and I did everything I felt we needed to do to get a good position in qualifying, but everyone else found more time than us which was disappointing.
“Circumstances went against me in race one as I came around the corner and the guys ahead had all slowed ahead of the restart, but it wasn’t ideal to retire in that way. Race two was then a huge battle as we lost the alternator belt and I had no power steering, but we pushed on as you never know if people will fall off and you can pick up places.
“I tried hard in race three and I pushed as hard as I could. I felt I’d done well to keep Boardley behind. I had to push so hard to build a gap in sector one because I knew he was strong later in the lap and, sadly, he just managed to get ahead near the end. That was a weekend to put behind us and focus on the rounds to come.”