Power Maxed Racing headed to Snetterton this weekend for points and minimal drama - relatively speaking, of course.
Power Maxed Racing started the second half of the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season at Snetterton this weekend with both PMR Vauxhall Astras looking racey at the hands of Chilton & Proctor.
Despite an obvious mismatch in pace between the Subarus and the rest of the field, Chilton was in and around the top ten all weekend, and Proctor recorded his highest ever finish in 9th.
With Chilton qualifying 16th and Proctor 27th the grid formed for the first race of the day. An incident-free start saw Chilton drop back slightly to 18th with Proctor gaining a place into 26th. With under a second separating over three-quarters of the field, the pack was bumper to bumper over the opening laps. Chilton was pushing hard and gained a couple of places into 16th with Proctor up into 25th. Lap 4 dominated by a six way battle for 11th place with Chilton in the midst of the action in 14th, unfortunately, contact with Moffat dropped the Astra back to 16th. Mid-race drama saw several retirements and contact rewarding Chilton with further places. With six laps remaining, Chilton was up in 12th place with Proctor on a one-man mission gaining place after place to sit in 12th. After a great battle with the Audi of Whorton-Eales, the rapidly developing PMR rookie gained further traction in his charge up the grid into 19th with Chilton comfortably in 10th place. The last lap retirement for Newsham saw a further gain for Proctor, and when fellow rookie Price was also forced to retire, Proctor crossed the line in 17th with Chilton into the points in a solid 10th place, all eyes focused on race 2.
Race two was not short of action with early contact between Lines’ Ford and Cook’s MG forcing the Ford to retire, however, both PMR drivers survived the opening laps and pushed on with Chilton in 11th and Proctor 21st. The stricken Focus brought out the safety car giving everybody chance to regroup, and racing commenced with further contact which caused Moffat and Smith to drop to the back of the pack promoting both Vauxhall Astras. Shortly after Proctor came under attack from the Subaru of Price and then set about defending against Newsham’s Chevrolet, holding him off until the final lap when Newsham was able to pass, the rookie drove cleanly and kept pace to cross the checkered flag in 23rd. Chilton held onto 12th place and was steadily closing the gap between his Astra and Ingram's Toyota. Unfortunately, he ran out of laps but crossed the line still in the points.
The final race of the day was packed full of typical BTCC crowd pleasing action. Lights out and both PMR drivers got away well, ahead Austin and Sutton made contact retiring the Subaru and promoting everyone up the grid by a place. The chasing pack bunched together and Chilton was squeezed wide but still able to hold the Astra on track with a determined focus to regain lost positions.
Proctor was a man on a mission, having started in 23rd he had fought his way up to 14th by lap 3, including passing his teammate who slotted in behind to capitalise on the rookie's momentum. With cars retiring left and right and debris strewn across the track, the PMR drivers did well to keep the Vauxhall Astras out of trouble. As the soft tyre came into its own, Senna was setting the fastest lap of the race so far on lap 5 and by lap six had made it to 10th with Chilton behind in 11th. With a final twist of fate on the penultimate lap, Jordan suffered from car gremlins promoting Proctor to 9th and Chilton to 10th which is where they crossed the line, Proctor's best BTCC race finish after a sparkling drive, with both drivers in the points.
Tom Chilton commented, “It’s been a solid weekend overall, the first race was exciting, and I could battle for position as we had the soft Dunlop tyre, and I pushed for the top ten in race two but just missed out in the closing sector. Overall 3 points scoring finishes is not a bad way to end the weekend”.
Senna Proctor commented, “I had a tough start to the weekend and took a while to dial the car in, but the team gave me an epic car for race 3. I started 23rd and got my highest every BTCC finish in 9th, so I am pretty chuffed with myself.”
Adam Weaver commented:
“I am so proud of the team and the drivers this weekend. It's hard to race when there is such a miss-match of power between the Subarus and the rest of the field, but they weren't deterred and come away with many more points, the highest ever finish for Proctor and not forgetting Manufacturers trophy for the weekend”.
The BTCC will return in two weeks time as they travel north of the border to Scotland’s Knockhill circuit, full coverage can be found Live on ITV4.
Photo © Jakob Ebrey.
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