As the action resumed after the summer break, Andrew and the Pirtek Honda Civic were right at the head of the racing as the BTCC yet again delivered sensational action for the huge crowd at the track and hundreds of thousands watching live on ITV4.
Andrew’s pace was superb right from the start of the weekend and he should have been on pole position. “We went quickest in the first and second sectors and I had a small off in the third sector. We could have been fastest by a couple of tenths of a second,” he said. But the Pirtek Racing mood was optimistic going into Sunday’s races. “From fourth on the grid we thought out tyre wear would be better, but it would be hard to race forward. The other cars like the Toyota are so quick in a straight line; they were 5mph faster than us through the speed traps.”
“In the race I got stuck behind Dave Newsham for a bit and he was very quick in a straight line. But his tyres were going off. I got up on the inside of him onto the back straight and got ahead, but he just drove past me on the straight. He cut back in before the Esses and then got on the brakes really early. We looked on the data and I had to get on the brakes 46 metres earlier than the previous lap. But I got past him at the right-hander for third place.”
Race two was an incredible affair as Matt Neal and Jason Plato battled furiously and both ran off the track at Murray’s after contact. Andrew was perfectly placed to sweep ahead and take a magnificent victory, his first of the 2012 season. “We gained a bit more success ballast for the second race. I didn’t defend too hard from Matt because his car was lighter and I let him go after Plato and tried to go with him, which worked a treat. They sorted each other out and I got past them both. It was a huge relief to win and that last lap felt like it went on for a long time. It was a great result for the Pirtek team.
“For the third race we had 45kg of success ballast and started ninth on the grid and got up to fifth, which was a good result. We’re certainly not out of it and a couple more days like that could really get us into the title battle,” said a jubilant Andrew after a fabulous day.
“We are delighted that Andrew has finally got the win he richly deserves for his efforts this year. His efforts throughout the year have mainly gone unrewarded – and you could really see how much the win meant. We are all behind Andrew at Revive! and can’t wait for the next race in Knockhill!”
Mark Llewellyn – Revive! Managing Director