Independents’ winning streak continues for Evans Halshaw Power Maxed Racing at Thruxton

Evans Halshaw Power Maxed Racing extended their 100% winning record in the Independents’ Class of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton this past weekend (June 8-9) as Árón Taylor-Smith powered his way to a triumphant hat-trick.

On what proved to be a full throttle visit to the fastest circuit in the country, the Vauxhall Astra squad was left to ponder what might have been after showing glimpses of front-running pace throughout the fourth meeting of the season. 

The weekend began with the Worcestershire-based team running inside the top ten across Saturday’s two free practice sessions; all of which was centred around fine tuning the set-up of both Taylor-Smith and Mikey Doble’s cars for qualifying. 

Come the battle for pole position later that afternoon, both drivers comfortably progressed into the second segment of the session however a high-speed crash for Taylor-Smith exiting Noble late on caused substantial damage to his #40 machine. 

Limping back to the pit lane, a monumental effort by the entire team ensured that Taylor-Smith could join Doble back out on-track for the second part of qualifying however neither would ultimately be able to progress into the final shootout to decide the top six spots on the grid. 

On race day, Taylor-Smith led the line for the front-wheel-drive outfit as he claimed an eighth, ninth and tenth around the 2.36-mile circuit; which in-turn netted him outright honours in the Independents’ Championship.

Doble meanwhile spent his day fighting on the fringes of the top ten as he scooped three more points finishes - ensuring that just he, Taylor-Smith and Colin Turkington remain the only drivers to have a 100% finishing record inside the points this year. 

Leaving Thruxton, Taylor-Smith and Doble continue to head the Independent Drivers’ Championship while PMR comfortably control the Teams’ Championship. Doble also continues to hold an advantage in the coveted Jack Sears Trophy.  

Árón Taylor-Smith: “Three Independent wins is always the sign of a good day although I can’t help but think what we might have done had we not had the crash in qualifying, which was 100% on me!

“The car was an absolute rocket ship all weekend though and we managed to move forward in all three races. I’m feeling positive in my performance and in the fact that I feel we’ve really improved certain aspects of the chassis this weekend. 

“We’ve got some homework to do but we’re moving in the right direction. The aim is to carry this momentum into Oulton Park so that we can end the first half of the season on a high.”

Mikey Doble: “Its been a strong weekend where Ive managed to score points in all three races and maintained the lead in the Jack Sears Trophy. It would have been nice to come away with more silverware but that run had to end at some point. 

“I didn’t maximise my lap in qualifying and I think that ultimately cost us a little bit come race day because had we been a couple of rows higher we’d have been fighting inside the top eight across all three races. 

“We’ve made some solid progress with the car once again and I’m in a good position in both the Independents’ and Jack Sears standings. There is still a long way to go so we’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing at the moment.”

Martin Broadhurst, Team Manager: “This weekend has gone very much like Snetterton, whereby on one hand we’re pleased to come away with three more Independent wins but on the other, the pace was there for potentially an outright podium.

“Árón’s mistake in qualifying played a part in how his race day panned out as had he made it to the Quick Six it would have been very different. Still, he drove a solid three races and was deserving of his three Independent wins. 

“Mikey drove equally as well too but when you’re in the mid-pack, among the other cars in the aerowash, it is always difficult to move forward. He picked up solid points yet again though and continues to lead the Jack Sears Trophy.”

Adam Weaver, Team Principal: “Like Martin, I’m coming away from Thruxton with mixed feelings because we have again shown that we have the pace to fight at the front of the field - we just need that little bit of luck to get us over the line.

“Both Árón and Mikey drove well on Sunday, and I’ve got to give a huge amount of credit to the entire team too for turning Árón’s car around so quickly in qualifying - it was quite the mess but they somehow pulled it off. 

“We’ve got one round to go before the summer break so attention immediately switches to Oulton Park in less than two weeks’ time. We’ve already got some ideas in how we can improve the car so we’re excited to get up to Cheshire for the next three races.”

The 2024 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship continues in less than two weekstime at Oulton Park on June 22/23 - which marks the halfway point in the season.