Pace and potential shown by TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK

15th May 2024

Andrew Watson and Rob Huff continued to show the potential of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK’s Corolla GR Sport during the second outing of the 2024 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship campaign at Brands Hatch (11/12 May).

Despite both drivers fighting for top six finishes on occasions during the weekend, Watson’s seventh in the finale would be the team’s best return.

Here’s what both drivers had to say following the event…

Rob Huff, Driver, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK, said: “In terms of the overall outcome, it was obviously a frustrating weekend, but at the same time there were lots of positives to take away. The Toyota felt really good in qualifying until we tried something a bit unorthodox with the tyres in Q2 that didn’t quite work out, but these are all learning experiences.

“We struggled slightly in race one and then on the warm-up lap ahead of race two, the front roll bar broke, which took away a lot of front-end grip and meant the car was moving around more than usual. We battled on anyway and were going really well until my rear bumper began flailing in the wind following earlier contact – and as the officials deemed it to be dangerous, I had to ‘box’ to get it repaired. That was a great shame, because I think we would have been on for a really good result.

“It also meant we had to start race three from the back of the grid, but the team did a mega job to get the bumper fixed and the roll bar replaced and the Corolla felt magnificent – the best it has done for me so far. We had really good pace and I only wish the race could have gone on another 15 laps!

“Ultimately, our current championship position doesn’t accurately reflect our performance and potential. We made really good progress both on and off-track at Brands Hatch, and I’m just so excited for the future with this team. I think together, we can really create something very special.”

Andrew Watson, Driver, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK, said: “In general, I feel we took a good step forward at Brands Hatch. Qualifying was predictably tight, but the team did a great job and seventh place put us in the mix for race day. With the soft tyres on and full hybrid, we knew we were going to go forward in race one. There was a bit of fighting at the start, which let Josh [Cook] and Ash [Sutton] get away slightly and I couldn’t quite catch up to them, but I was happy with the points. I think the penalty was tough, but it is what it is.

“Race two was just a demolition derby, which culminated in me receiving the mechanical warning flag after contact from behind dislodged the rear bumper, but the team put in a fantastic effort to repair the car for race three and it was so important to go out and reward everybody with a really positive performance and result.

“That was one of my best races so far in the championship, I would say. The Toyota felt brilliant and we were able to slice our way through the field. It was still only my second weekend in the car but to make that much progress on the medium tyres proves we’re getting the Corolla into the right window now, and over the upcoming events, we’re only going to get stronger...” © 2024
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