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News 2006: Podium Joy for Pinkney at Knockhill

3rd September

Dave PinkneyThe annual trip north of the border for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship proved a joyous one for Dave Pinkney and the Motorbase Performance team – with their first podium finish of the season.

As all hell broke loose in front of him during Round 23 at Knockhill, near Dunfermline, on Sunday – the second of the day's three races – Nuts-backed Pinkney played it cool, stayed out of trouble and snatched a dramatic fourth place overall on the final lap, behind Vauxhall's race winner Fabrizio Giovanardi, SEAT's Darren Turner and fellow manufacturer driver Gavin Smith (Vauxhall).

As the first Independent driver to finish he claimed his first trophy and rightful podium place.

To add to the team's celebrations, Pinkney was later awarded another trophy – that for third overall – when Turner was excluded from the results by race officials after his car failed a post-race weight check.

"I'm over the moon", said Pinkney. "I went from hero to zero in the first race then back to hero again in the second. It's total madness this motor racing, but good though!"

Dave PinkneyThe Motorbase ace had looked like the star in the first race of the day after slicing his way to ninth by less than half distance – he had started 15th due to taking the wrong gamble on set-up in qualifying (Pinkney went for a dry set-up on his Honda Integra but the Scottish weather had other plans).

He was consistently lapping quicker than the cars in front and looked odds-on to continue his climb up the grid – possibly towards a top five finish. However, Smith saw to Pinkney's chances when he made a desperate lunge at the start of the 13 th lap to get back the ninth place he'd just lost – a lunge that saw both cars retire with heavy damage.

Pinkney said: "I think some of these guys are just trying too hard. If I had been overtaken, I'd sit back for a bit and have a look to see if there was anywhere I could have a realistic chance of getting the place back. But these guys just think they have to have a go immediately whether the move's on or not.

Dave Pinkney"Smith just lost it. He was never going to get past as I'd already pulled out about four car lengths on him. But that move wrecked the car and put us both out the race!"

Frenetic work by the Motorbase mechanics just got Pinkney on the grid for Round 23 where his luck changed dramatically. Struggling with a wet set-up on a dry track - the team just didn't have time when re-building the car to change the settings - Pinkney fought his way into the top eight from 14 th on the grid.

Then a last corner four-car smash, which wiped out, among others, SEAT's Jason Plato (who won the first race) and Vauxhall's Tom Chilton, and wounded championship leader Matt Neal's Integra, gave Pinkney the much-deserved podium.

The Motorbase Integra's final race of the day (won by Neal) was hampered by gear selector problems, but a respectable ninth place finish leaves Pinkney in a healthy position to fight for a top-four finish in the Independents championship.