Issues on Saturday but Silverware on Sunday for CarStore Power Maxed Racing.
Issues on Saturday but Silverware on Sunday for CarStore Power Maxed Racing.
This last weekend saw the team head to Thruxton, the fastest UK circuit, off the back of a mega tough race weekend at Brands Hatch, the time in between rounds was spent doing some pretty major repairs to both of the CarStore cars. So after a lot of late nights and early mornings the team were ready and were off to test our might against the fastest circuit on the touring car calendar.
Saturday morning and the sun was shining and we were ready to get going. Sadly we could only field one car in free practice one with just Hand #97 out on track, due to Crees #777 having engine running issues back in the garage as a result of a manifold change.
For the first 20 minute of Hand’s practice the team were scrubbing in all his tyres for the race weekend ahead, meaning Ash would do a lap and then come in for a complete tyre change. Once the team had completed the tyre scrubbing Hand could push for a flying lap, he accomplished 21 laps in total and his best lap was 1.16.8 with a 1.3 second gap from pole. That time resulted in Ash sitting in P.18.
Free practice two saw both drivers, Hand #97 and Crees #777 out for the session. During the session the lap times were decreasing quickly over the course of the session and Crees finished P.18, securing a 1.16.837 and completed 17 laps. Hand finished just in front with P.17, and a 1.16.805, with 16 laps. The session was cut short by a couple of minutes due to a competitor having an off and the session being red flagged.
The Kwik Fit qualifying session held in the afternoon saw an intense end to the session however both drivers started off in the middle of the pack, securing P.14 and P.15 in the first three minutes of the session. Both drivers having two pit stops during the time. On lap nine, Hand secured P.10 with a 1.16.024, hitting a speed of 111mph and Crees hitting a top speed of 110mph.
With four minutes to go, Hand had one out lap and then was pushing for two flying laps however on the first pushing lap at the last chicane the back left tyre endured a puncture resulting in Hand having to box. Luckily the time secured on lap nine resulted in P.11 for the first race. Crees #777 finished in P.19 with a 1.16.533 completing 14 laps.
Race day was here and the rain decided to join us too first thing, however due to a late race start time that didn’t change the race strategy for the team as it had dried out by the time we were ready to go.
Just before the race all the BTCC drivers had a pit lane walk about session to attend where they got to meet lots of fans and hand out signed posters, the paddock was very busy with fans and the sun came too.
It was time for Round 7 of the Kwik Fit British Touring car Championship with Hand starting in P.11 and Crees starting in P.19, the pit lane opened at 11:25 and all the VIP guests entered the grid to see the cars up close and watch the team prepare for the race start, the whistle was blown and shortly after the grid was cleared, ready for the drivers to start the action everyone had come to see.
The lights went out and the 16-lap race had begun. By lap 4 Crees #777 had held position however Hand #97 dropped back to P.12. Creesy than started to move up the grid, by lap 13 he was up to P.16 and by the final lap sitting P.14 however one of the Honda’s had an issue and went into the pits which automatically increased both drivers finishing result. Leaving Ash finishing in P.10 and Crees in P.13 which was an incredible drive by them both.
Round 8 held in the afternoon saw a lovely clean battle between Hand, Butcher and Creesy on Lap 13. Hand added pressure to the #6 car which resulted in both Ash and Creesy getting passed the Toyota Corolla however at the next corner Butcher then pushed back through, separating the boys again. The race ended with Hand #97 in P.10 and Crees #777 in P.12, which was a great result for the team with yet another points finish and a really enjoyable watch.
Race 3, round 9 of the Kwik Fit British Touring car championship was a little more dramatic than the previous races with the safety car deployed on lap 3 resulting in Hamilton #28 retiring. The Green flag was waved again on lap 4 and an extra lap added to the race distance; now having 17 laps in total.
By lap 8 Creesy was back in P.12 having dropped down to P.15 at the start and Hand was in P.11 after also dropping back to P.14.
Creesy on lap 9 hit his best lap time of this race, which, was a 1.16.970, and by lap 13 Creesy had jumped up to P.9 passing team mate Hand now in P.10. In the final laps, two Honda’s retired which, resulted in five cars retiring in total meaning an instant increase in position for the rest of the grid behind them. Completing round 9 with Creesy in his personal best finish with a P.8 and Hand right behind with a P.9 and securing his first podium in the championship with a Jack Sears win.
Overall the weekend was amazing, starting off a little sour with Creesy’s car not making it out for free practice one, however the team worked hard and fixed the engine issues and from there the weekend got better and better with every session. Huge congratulations to both drivers who both ended on a high and delivered remarkable racing for us all to watch and cheer on, on to the next round at Oulton Park on the 11th & 12th June.
Ash Hand picked up the winning trophy for the Jack Sears award for the best rookie of the weekend and the final results from the weekend have Ash Hand 3rd in the Jack Sear Trophy overall and CarStore Power Maxed racing 5th in the Independents Team Championship.
Team Principle; Adam Weaver: “Another weekend that demonstrates the power and resilience that comes with having the right team. It really is the key to every success. It is so hard to find the right people, and many give up because finding them is almost impossible. I can assure you I have come close on several occasions, these last few weekends make me feel so glad I didn’t. To come off such a tough weekend at Brands to then have issues thrown at us again, through absolutely no fault of our own or anyone in the team is so frustrating, but to over come them and get the solid results we achieved is testament to each and every one of them. The hospitality staff at CarStore Power Maxed Racing were exemplary also looking after all of our partners, guest and team whilst the team were yet again having to overcome issues giving the guests unrivalled behind the scenes access without being in the way is very difficult to do. I’m very proud of all of them. Outright podiums for both our drivers to reward them are not far away!”
Team Manager; Martin Broadhurst: “I have to say that we had a very solid weekend, Michael had to dig deep after missing FP1 due to engine issues, to get himself ready for Qualifying during FP2. Ash made some solid progress during Saturday to Qualify P11, his best qualifying position to date. Sunday brought great results, Ash finishing all three races in the top ten and Michael moving forwards in all the races to come home in 8th place at the end. The positives are that the drivers are now getting to grips with the car and we can build from here.
Ash Hand #97: “We made some solid progress at the weekend with a consistent overall performance. The car set up pace in qualifying was good enough P11 although a puncture on a hot lap cost us P9. Finishes of P10, P10 & P9 showed the car and driver consistency. I was pleased to win the Jack Sears trophy only 3 rounds in, nice to be back on the podium and I moved up 5 places in the championship so good progress. Now need to look forward to the next race at Oulton Park to improve the pace in myself and the car and build our momentum as a team.”
Michael Crees #777: “We had everything thrown at us this weekend, from the electrical problems in practice to a misfire in qualifying, but we worked hard to battle through everything and the guys in the team did a great job. Race one was good and race two was pretty strong as well, we moved forward in both, and then the last one was fantastic! I was determined I wasn’t going to waste the opportunity in the last race, the car was good and I was able to push and really get stuck in. I’m over the moon to take my first Independents podium of the year, and my best ever overall result in the BTCC with eighth. We’re moving forward all the time, I’m really looking forward now to Oulton.”
For photos of the weekend please contact Dani on Dani@powermaxedracing.com