HIGHS AND LOWS AT SNETTERTON FOR TEAM HARD. RACING
The latest rounds of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship saw Team HARD. Racing experience a mixed weekend at Snetterton, with the squad fighting tooth and nail throughout and securing four well-earned points-finishes but also suffering some unfortunate retirements at the Norfolk circuit.
Check out what the CUPRA-driving quartet of Nic Hamilton, Jack Goff, Glynn Geddie and Aron Taylor-Smith had to say about the weekend below…
Nic Hamilton, ROKiT Racing with iQuoto Online Trading, said:
“[Snetterton was] a tough one, but with a lot of positives to take from it. Race one was OK, we just seemed to struggle for overall race pace, but we were developing the car as it went through the day so were trying a few new things and I finished the race, which was good. We were on the soft tyre and our pace was comparable to the guys around us which was great.
“For race two we changed something, and the car wasn’t as good as it was for race one. We were on the medium tyre and I just tried to stay with it, which we did. However, we were still lacking the overall pace that I would like.
“I would say race three was the best race start I’ve done in a long time, gaining five places on the first lap and running with them really well. It got to lap four and it was as if the car just went off. Everyone else seemed to continue the same pace and unfortunately, I dropped down a good second a lap or so and dropped away from the field. Then from there I was over-defending and had a little spin into Agostini. That was pretty much the end of the race.
“Despite that, race three is positive to look at, especially the first three or four laps. We’ve got to go back to the drawing board and understand how we can keep the car alive after the first four laps and then we’ll be laughing.”
Jack Goff, Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct, said:
“In race one, I went from 13th to 12th which was OK. It was the first race I’d done on medium tyres, so I was stepping into the unknown once again, but the car balance wasn’t amazing and we struggled a little bit on outright pace.
“Going into race two, we made some changes and the car was much better. It was our first race on the softs so again it was a step into the unknown. Then for race three we went back onto the medium tyres again. In that race I had contact and dropped to around 13th or 14th in the pack but slowly started to make my way back through the pack again and got back to ninth.
“It’s testament to everybody at the team because this is the second weekend that we have finished in the points for all three races. So far that’s six races, six points finishes and three top tens. I think everybody should be pretty proud of that, we can work from there and keep pushing on. Next time we’re on mediums we will know what to expect: I can’t wait to go again.”
Glynn Geddie, Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct, said:
“I’m not sure when my luck is going to change! Unfortunately, when you start near the back, which I had to due to the fuel issue during qualifying, you often end up getting caught up in two or three incidents over a weekend and that’s what ended up happening to my challenge.
“Race one was OK. I made steady progress up the field but again, that isn’t where I want to be. For race two I was starting from that higher position and was thinking that it would be my chance to get into the points like Jack and Aron, but unfortunately contact on the rear corner of my car caused damage and that ruined my race. I had to head back to the pits and settle for a DNF.
“In the final race of the day I managed to show some of my pace and kept my nose clean. It was good to come home in 22nd. Again, this is not what we’re after and we can see that there is pace in the car but unfortunately, I’ve had limited running due to incidents. Fingers crossed for Brands Hatch that I can have a clean weekend, get lots of running and utilise the knowledge from the other guys to elevate us further up the field.”
Aron Taylor-Smith, Team HARD. with HUB Financial Solutions, said:
“This weekend reminded me of the ups and downs of the BTCC. In race one and two, we picked up battle scars from other cars who were unfortunately being a little bit more robust than I’m used to.
“There was a bit of damage here and there which hampered our performance and our rate of progression in both races. The damage that was sustained is a lot of hard work for the team; for them to get the car back out again for race three was impressive, but we still had just a little slight hangover issue, which is to be expected when everything was such a rush.
“For race three, we didn’t have the full potential of what the overall package could do but we still got back into the points. Right now, we have a car that can run comfortably in tenth to 15th. I think in another meeting or two, we will have a car that can run comfortably in fifth to tenth and then in another after that we’ll have a car that will run comfortably in the top five.
“All I can say is everyone within Team HARD. is doing an exceptional job. This is all brand new and that’s how it needs to be approached. It’s a brand-new team, kit, cars and staff, and being a new driver [with the team] myself, it’s a lot of work. But they’re taking it in their stride, and this is only the start. If these weekends are the worst weekends that we have to endure for the year, I think we’re going to be in a good place.”
Heading to its local track of Brands Hatch next time out (26/27 June), the Team HARD. squad will have high hopes to put on a good show for fans and bring home a strong points haul on the Kent circuit’s Indy configuration.