Team HARD reflect on Oulton Park

22nd June 2023

Last weekend (17/18 June), the 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship was hosted by Oulton Park, for its fifth event of the season.

The Cheshire circuit saw both some promising, and tough moments for all three Team HARD. outfits; a notable result including how Dexter Patterson continues to lead the Jack Sears Trophy competition into the midseason break.

Hear what the drivers had to say...

Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils:

Bobby Thompson: “I’m absolutely delighted that we were able to spend the whole of Saturday in the top 5, it’s where the car deserves to be but of course, it’s a shame we weren’t able to carry those results into Sunday.

“There were multiple situations that didn’t go our way on race day but the team did a great job across the weekend to keep our heads held high despite a tough race day.

“We go into the summer break knowing what we need to adapt and develop on the car to make that next step. This is the first time since the start of the season we have time to really go through everything with a fine tooth comb and perfect our package so we can keep our top five pace for the rest of the season.”

Dan Lloyd: “Lots of positives to take away but we ran into some bad luck in the third race. Otherwise, we would easily have had three top 10 finishes which would have been a great points haul. We also just missed out on the reverse grid pole which was a shame but ultimately it didn’t matter in the end due to the issue.

“We made some good improvements with the car which will put us in good stead for Croft which is promising. I feel really positive, the team is doing a great job and as soon as we hit a little bit of good luck, I really think we are going to be well in the mix.

“I’m remaining positive and it was a good weekend other than the bad luck in the final race of the day.”

Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD:

Dexter Patterson: “A strong, competitive weekend for me at Oulton Park. I was really happy to finish in the points in races 1 and 2. The car was competitive and I felt that I could push hard and stay on the tail of the cars in front which is positive as I’m looking to break into the next pack of cars more consistently.

“Race 3 was looking to be another finish in the points but I was hit heading into the chicane which spun me around and effectively ended my chances of making it a hat-trick of points finishes.

“I’m really happy with the car and I come away still leading the Jack Sears Trophy so I have to be happy.”

Jade Edwards: “Overall, a positive weekend. After having some issues in both practice sessions, we were worried that it was going to turn into another difficult weekend but qualifying was much better and we headed into Sunday with a positive mindset.

“We gambled on race day and ran the slower, hard tyre for the first race knowing that if it didn’t rain, we would have a big advantage in race 3. Sadly, contact in race 2 meant that we didn’t finish the race and had to start the final race day from the back of the grid.

“We made a good start and gained a fair few places before more contact dropped us back to last once again. The car felt awesome and I was able to get back through the pack which was fun and ultimately used the advantage of the soft tyre to pick my way into 16th. If I was offered 16th after FP1 I would have snapped your hand off but we still leave Oulton Park thinking ‘what could have been’ if we didn’t have that contact on lap 1 which set us back.

“A big step forward and a solid weekend for my side of the garage which was much needed after a tough start.”

Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown:

Jack Butel: “I felt like the weekend was actually very successful despite not getting the results we deserved. In FP1 we struggled but rectified that in FP2 with a 7th place finish. Qualifying didn’t go how we hoped but that’s Motorsport.

“Onto race day and we went into race 1 feeling good. I got a great start which helped me get a 16th place finish. In race 2 we dropped back after contact but we recovered well to 17th which I was happy with.

“In the last race, we finished 18th on the slower, hard tyre. We were expecting rain to feature for at least some of the day but it never came. In hindsight we should have used the hard tyre in race 1 to get it out of the way.

“Overall though, I’m really happy with the weekend. I’m ready for a break to reflect and come back stronger at Croft.”

Nic Hamilton:  “It was an okay race day from my side of the garage. It wasn’t the Sunday we wanted but it also wasn’t terrible.

“In race 1 and 2 we had good pace in the car and we have definitely taken steps forwards lately, the chassis feels really nice. We are just struggling with raw pace from our engine which is holding us back a bit.

“For race 3 we started 22nd so decided to take a gamble for wet tyres as it started to rain on the grid but unfortunately it never came. We eventually boxed for the hard tyre and whilst it dropped us way back, the pace was really strong. Looking back through the data and times our pace was good enough for the top 15 which is encouraging and we are in a good place.

“All in all, not a disaster of a weekend, there’s a lot we can take from it and a good way to finish with the car so we can work on it over the summer break at the tyre test.” © 2024
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