The latest rounds of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship showed that United Autosports is making progress in the ultra-competitive series. The team achieved its best qualifying performance of the season before running competitively inside the top-10.
Glynn Geddie, sixth fastest at one stage in the red flag interrupted session, claimed his and the team’s best qualifying position of tenth – a mere 0.789secs off pole-position. Team-mate James Cole completed his first flying lap with only 10mins remaining of the 30mins time trials when exhaust repairs were required after an off-track excursion earlier in the session.
Glynn started his Toyota from 10th place on the 31-car grid for Sunday’s opening race when a car failed post-qualifying scrutineering. The Aberdonian gained another place on the first lap to run ninth – impressively running inside the top-10 until being tapped at the rear by Nick Foster, who was later reprimanded for the incident on lap 13 – Glynn resuming 22nd after the spin and ultimately taking the chequered flag 20th. The engine in Cole’s Avensis had been changed overnight but an oil sensor issue on the warm-up lap meant James’ race began at mid-distance and restricted him to just four laps.
Geddie, opting to run on soft tyres in race two, lay a very creditable 13th by lap 10 but dropped three places on the next lap and subsequently down to 22nd after a brush with Marc Hynes. Cole again suffered with an engine issue necessitating a pit-stop.
Cole used his “soft” tyres in the final race of the day and at least enjoyed his first green light to chequered flag race of the weekend, the Merseysider recording 22nd while Geddie, who set the fourth fastest sector one time and ran 16th at mid-distance, dropped three places before the chequer.
#20 Drivecool / Autoglym / HELLA – Toyota Avensis
James Cole (GB). Age: 26. Born: Southport, England. Lives: Liverpool, England.
“After all of the optimism and putting Snetterton behind me, it’s been another disappointing weekend again for me with engine issues blighting each of my three races. Hopefully these problems can be resolved for the next race weekend.”
#21 Autoglym / HELLA – Toyota Avensis
Glynn Geddie (GB). Age: 24. Born & Lives: Aberdeen, Scotland.
“I struggled on the first two tyre runs in qualifying but ultimately made mine and the team’s first top-10 BTCC race start. I was definitely on course for a top-10 finish in the opening race, possible a top-six, but was hit from behind once again sending me into a spin. Race two I was taken out of 13th place and struggled with traction exiting corners in the third race.”
Richard Dean, Team Owner and Managing Director, United Autosports:
“We were on for a good weekend here at Knockhill after Glynn qualified in 10th, but again, luck was not on our side and we ended up down near the back of the pack. We did all the right things to get us to a place we thought we deserved to be after what has been a tough start to our BTCC campaign. Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be this weekend. James had issues from the start with a lack of power in qualifying which resulted in an engine change on Sunday morning. Then we were battling with gremlins that brought up, which made his weekend tough too. We have shown we can qualify where it counts so we will just keep working on that until we get the results we think we are capable of.”
August 23-24 Knockhill
Rd 19 Qualifying: 11th #21, 52.494; 25th #20, 53.245s. Weather: Bright/drying.
Race: 20th #21, +23.836s; Not classified #20, -23 laps. Weather: Cloudy/dry.
Rd 20 Start Pos: 20th #21; 31st #20.
Race: 20th #21, +48.358s; 24th #21, – 3 laps. Weather: Cloudy/dry.
Rd 21 Start Pos: 20th #20; 24th #21.
Race: 19th #21, +30.671s; 22nd #20, 37.935s. Weather: Bright/dry.
Driver’s Championship: 19th #21, Geddie, 15pts; 25th #20 Cole, 5pts
HiQ Teams’ Championship: 13th, 22pts
Independents Team Trophy: 11th, 118pts