Bad Luck Continues for Adrian Flux With Power Maxed Racing at Croft
This weekend saw the Vauxhall Astras of Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing head north to the picturesque Croft Circuit, located just a few miles from Darlington. The North Yorkshire circuit has been a fixture of the calendar for many years, and remains a favourite for both drivers and teams alike.
As usual, Saturday would open with the first Free Practice session of the day, giving both drivers the opportunity to investigate different setups, as well as using the 45 minutes on track to scrub tyres in ready for the rest of the weekend. At the close of the session, Dan Lloyd would cross the line P14, with Jason Plato just 0.2 of a second behind in P20. With exactly one second separating the Top-24, it was looking to be a close fought weekend.
Free Practice 2 would kick off at lunchtime, with the weather having stayed mercifully dry, despite the promise of showers throughout the day. Both drivers would be looking to make the most of the time on track, ensuring the qualifying simulations they typically work through during these sessions were nailed down and ready to go. In the end, Jason and Dan would finish P14 & P15 respectively, separated by just 12 thousandths of a second, with both less than half a second behind the front runner.
Mid-afternoon would see the weather stay off long enough for a solid session of dry running. By the mid-point of the session, Jason would be P3 in the standings, with Dan just behind in P5. Unfortunately, due to two red flags being waved during the session, running would be interrupted, meaning the team’s strategy wouldn’t give them the opportunity to capitalise on performance and post more laps. In the end, Jason would be starting Race 1 the next day rounding out the Top 10, with his teammate just over 0.1 of a second behind him in P14.
Sunday would dawn dry and warm, although rain would fall just as the pitlane opened for Race 1. Luckily, it wouldn’t affect running, and the track would be all but bone dry when the 29-car strong grid started racing. Lloyd would quickly find his feet, fighting his way through the pack to make up 4 places within 4 laps, eventually crossing the line P9 to cement a decent points haul.
Jason would have less luck, with contact early in the first lap leaving him with steering issues, putting him on the back foot for the rest of the session, meaning he would eventually cross the line P17.
Race 2 would see both drivers head out on the Option Soft compound tyre, giving them a great shot at making up spots throughout the session. Unfortunately, bad luck would strike yet again, with Lloyd being collected by Smiley on Lap 1, causing damage that would hamper him for the rest of the session. Lap 13 would see the BMW of Jelley push him wide, quickly followed by a similar move by Osborne in the Ford Focus, meaning by the close he would have dropped to P18, putting him out of the points.
Despite similar issues to Race 1 caused by contact, Jason would manage to eek his way up the grid, making up 6 places to take the flag P12, putting his in prime position for a Reverse Grid Pole Position.
Alas, it wasn’t to be, and with ball number 7 drawn, he would still be forced to start from P12. That was to be only the start of our bad luck in Race 3, however, and it would be a session that would see one driver retire early doors, with the other narrowly avoiding a high speed crash, to finish a lap down.
Starting P18, Dan would make up ground at the start, entering Turn 1 in the midst of the pack, leading to him being spun into the gravel, ending his race before it had even begun. It would be the end to a weekend which started well, and showed all the signs of a strong points haul, but gave nothing but bad luck from the off.
Jason would only fair slightly better, after a small mistake on Lap 4 would see him leave the track at more than 135mph, narrowly missing multiple tyre stacks and the Armco. Following a pitstop to replace all 4 tyres, which had been flat spotted, he would take to the track alone, posting one of the fastest laps of the session, and gathering valuable data for the team.
Adam Weaver, Team Principal – “I really do feel we’re due some good luck soon. The team all work incredibly hard so that we can go racing, and to have what was shaping up to be a strong weekend spoiled thanks to needless contact is something that keeps happening. Both Dan and Jason drove well this weekend, with both drivers managing to make up ground despite damage affecting them in almost every race. Bring on Silverstone!”
Martin Broadhurst, Team Manager – “It’s been another frustrating weekend for us. Yet again, the lap times set down by the drivers show that the cars are consistently as quick or quicker than those around them, but we have been dealt an unlucky hand. But that’s motorsport-we’ll move forward, and hopefully bag some more silverware at Silverstone this coming weekend.”
Dan Lloyd – “I think it’s safe to say the weekend turned into a bit of a disaster after a really positive start. Race 1 was great, and we made some improvements to the car for Race 2, especially with the faster Option tyre. But, unfortunately, contact with Smiley early on gave us some pretty serious damage. Had that not happened I think we would’ve been well up in the Reverse Grid, as the car was feeling great. That was the turning point for the weekend really, and set us up for the rest of the day. On a positive note, all my sponsors and guests had a fantastic time, but I really hoped for a result at my home circuit. I’ll come back fighting next weekend!”
Jason Plato – “It’s been hard work this weekend! We’ve made some steps forward with the car, and had it feeling good towards the end of the day, but damage in Race 1 thanks to Osborne driving into the side of me in Turn 2 really hurt us for those first two races. Race 3 was looking positive, until I made a mistake right on the ragged edge, touched the brakes on the white line and just lost the car. At 135mph you’re a passenger, and I’m just glad we didn’t hit anything or anyone. We did manage to get some good running in clean air though at the end, and that’s helped us considerably with data gathering ahead of Silverstone.”