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News 2006: BTCC

13th August

It was a testing weekend for David Pinkney and the Motorbase Performance team in rounds 19, 20 and 21 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton (12/13 August). Two finishes just outside the top 10 for the Honda Integra was less than the driver and team deserved.

Saturday proved to be a very trying day for the team as an unfortunate component failure led to a disastrous sequence of events.

During the second practice session on Saturday, a front wishbone broke as Pinkney was accelerating out of Sear Corner. That allowed the driveshaft to pull out, which flailed around and ripped out an oil line, which led to major engine damage.

With the need to fit a replacement engine through Saturday afternoon, David was forced to miss qualifying and was left to start the opening race from the back of the grid. But he was still in bullish mood while the team worked at his car. "I still want to get on the podium," he said. "On old tyres in the morning I did a 1m13s dead," he added.

With the car running strongly once more, David lined up at the tail of the grid for the opening race on Sunday morning. Although the rain had stopped, the track was still wet and the grid was split on tyre choice. Pinkney opted to stay on wets, but soon knew that it had been the wrong call. "After four laps the tyres overheated and that was that," he reported after the race. He battled to the finish in 12th place, right on the tail of the MGs of Jason Hughes and Rob Collard.

Things went from bad to worse for race two, when Pinkney was involved in a first lap tangle and was put out of the race. "I turned in at Sear and it went," he said of the second corner spin. The following BMW of Martyn Bell then clipped the Honda and did some damage to the rear suspension. "All the time I've driven that car, it's never spun like that," said a disappointed Pinkney.

With the bonnet flicked up by the contact, Pinkney limped back to the pits with the open bonnet completely obscuring the screen, earning a big round of applause from the crowd in the process. Back in the pit garage, the team found a broken rear suspension arm, which may have caused the spin, or may have been caused by the subsequent contact with Bell's BMW.

That left the team working flat to get the car ready for the third and final race, when Pinkney started from the back of the grid. Unfortunately, he was judged to have crept a little as they waited for the red lights to go out and he was handed a drive-through penalty. That was a big handicap, but David rejoined the race to finish 11th at the end of a rather frustrating weekend.