21 April, 2014
Two practice sessions, one qualifying time trial and three races equated to almost 330 vital miles that the brace of United Autosports Toyota Avensis clocked up in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds of the 30-race BTCC staged at Donington Park yesterday (Sunday 20 April).
With testing now severely restricted, James Cole and Glynn Geddie plus BTCC newcomers United Autosports, each have to use race meetings as glorified tests.
Geddie ran just outside the top-10 in only his second BTCC event before a gearbox gremlin side-lined him in race three while team-mate Cole wrote off his Toyota in the day’s second race when he became an innocent victim in someone else’s accident.
#20 Drivecool – Toyota Avensis
James Cole (GB). Age: 25. Born: Southport, England. Lives: Liverpool, England.
“A problem with the front left wheel restricted me to running just one real ‘flying’ lap in qualifying. Sunday’s opener was staged on a greasy track but my tyres lost grip quickly causing massive oversteer. I had made a very good start in the second race, getting ahead of at least four cars from off the grid but then I got spun around at Redgate. I resumed at the back of the field with the tracking slightly out only for all hell to break out going down Craner Curves. I made contact with Rob Holland after avoiding Rob Austin, who was rejoining the track and I ended up contacting the wall heavily. Unfortunately my Toyota is completely written off – the United Autosports guys who’ve already done a great job just getting the cars on the grid for the start of the season, didn’t deserve this latest setback.”
#21 – Toyota Avensis
Glynn Geddie (GB). Age: 23. Born & Lives: Aberdeen, Scotland.
“At times today we had a ‘raceable’ car which means we’re making progress which at this stage in the car’s development is all that can be asked for. I expected more from race 2 but having to go out on unscrubbed new wets meant it going to be difficult then in the last race I suffered a gear selection issue causing my retirement. I really felt a top-10 result was on the cards for us in that race but we showed some promise.”
Richard Dean, Team Owner and Managing Director, United Autosports:
“We’ve learnt more in the opening six races than we did in all of our admittedly limited pre-season testing. Glynn running just outside the top-10 at times is a positive to take back to the race shop in Leeds.
“James endured a character building weekend, getting taken out in the second race due to no fault of his own which destroyed his chassis and therefore prevented him from starting the third race. So that element alone means that we have a lot of work to do in what is effectively just an eight day turnaround before we head to the next races at Thruxton.”