|TOUGH QUALIFYING IMPACTS TCR'S POTENTIAL IN GINETTA JUNIOR|
Rookie racer Max Bird, making his return to action in Ginetta Junior after foregoing the visit to Knockhill in Scotland a fortnight ago, was the best of the TCR quartet in qualifying to secure ninth on the grid for round 18. Grady and Wooder qualified just behind, in 10th and 11th respectively, while Jordan Collard lined-up for race one in 15th position.
Frustratingly for Bird, he was shuffled back to 12th place on the opening lap but managed to break back into the top 10 before the conclusion on lap eight to also secure a top three result in the Rookie class. Grady gained three positions on lap one to move into seventh, and although edged back to 10th after a close battle with team-mate Wooder, the second year driver ended the race in ninth.
Wooder battled through into seventh position in the end, TCR's best placed driver, after something of a see-saw contest. Moving into ninth place by lap three, Wooder was shuffled back to the tail of the top 10 soon after but, during the final couple of laps, he produced some strong racecraft as rain started to fall and made conditions very challenging.
Team-mate Collard had a mountain to climb following an unfortunate moment on lap two, but the first year car racer produced a good recovery from 19th place to work his way into 16th overall and seventh in the Rookie class.
Round 19 was also scheduled to take place on Saturday but very heavy rain, and a loss of light, led officials to move the second Ginetta Junior contest to Sunday morning. From seventh on the grid, Wooder's hopes took a hit on lap one after a tangle and he had to settle for 15th place. Bird, meanwhile, was edged back to 14th position and he ultimately ended the race in 13th spot.
Grady and Collard enjoyed better, finishing ninth and 11th respectively. Climbing as high as seventh on lap one, a moment at Pif-Paf on lap three dropped Grady to ninth where he stayed to the flag. In the meantime, Collard impressed by working his way into the top 10 from 16th on the grid before being elbowed back to 11th late on – fourth in the Rookie class.
Frustratingly for Grady, a mechanical issue just prior to the start of round 20 meant he was unable to take part in the encounter. Wooder charged through the tightly packed midfield to finish ninth, from 14th on the grid, while Collard and Bird were 12th and 13th after a hugely entertaining battle.