Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Heavy rain delays Donington BTCC

The season-opening British Touring Car Championship round at Donington Park is on hold due to horrendous weather conditions in the East Midlands.

Bobby Thompson, Team BMW

Photo by: Gary Hawkins

The region awoke to torrential rain, and there was chaos on the roads accessing the circuit, where the car parks were already turning into a quagmire in the early morning.

The BTCC field went out on track for an exploratory 10-minute warm-up session at noon, by which time the rain had abated to become a fine drizzle.

Several cars went off track and rejoined at the Old Hairpin – the lowest point of the circuit at the bottom of the Craner Curves – but some drivers pressed on.

Although there was no official timing, Autosport clocked Josh Cook, who appeared to be running quickly, twice in the 1m19s bracket at the end of the session in his Speedworks Motorsport-run LKQ Toyota Corolla.

This is comparable to the times being set early on during the qualifying session that began in wet conditions yesterday.

Following the session, BTCC chief Alan Gow and clerk of the course Ian Watson walked up the pitlane, discussing conditions with drivers and team managers.

The feeling was that conditions are not quite ready, with McLeans and Starkey’s the prime areas of concern.

Ingram is due to start the opening race from pole position

Ingram is due to start the opening race from pole position

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Poleman Tom Ingram, after getting out of his Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N, drew attention to the feeling that conditions aren’t quite ready, but paradoxically the best solution to improve the circuit is for cars to actually be on track and dissipating water.

“I don’t know’ is the simple answer,” said Ingram. “We all want to go racing.

“When Ash and I were talking to Alan and Ian, we said we feel it will be OK in 30 minutes, as long as cars are running around.

“But if we stop now and cars aren’t running around, then that will push it back another 20 minutes.”

The morning’s programme of support races has already fallen victim to the weather, but the Mini Challenge will likely be first out when conditions are declared fit for racing, followed by the first of three BTCC races.

It is imperative for the BTCC to squeeze in its three races before the live ITV4 coverage goes off air at 6.45pm, but it is understood that the circuit’s curfew is as late as 8pm, giving some flexibility to running delayed support races into the evening.

It seems likely that the BTCC races will be run, with the forecast predicting the rain to stop shortly.

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Huff explains BTCC qualifying exclusion at Donington
Next article BTCC Donington: Ingram dominates rain-delayed season opener

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe