The second half of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship resumed last weekend, at the new Snetterton race circuit in Norfolk. The weekend turned out to be a special occasion for young driver Frank Wrathall and his Dynojet race team, as they became the first team of the series to gain a point running a Next Generation regulated Touring Car.
The talented driver who’s sponsored by Angel Springs, the UK’s leading water cooler service provider as part of the Rising Stars Scheme, got off to a great start securing an outstanding seventh place on the grid for Sunday’s race day. Achieving a qualifying time of 1m 59s his best ever BTCC qualifying performance and the fastest yet for any of the four Next Generation Touring Cars, Frank was just four tenths off the pace of pole sitter Jason Plato.
Success continued from the qualifying rounds as starting from seventh on the grid and avoiding the danger of a spinning Matt Neal, Frank went down the inside of James Nash at the Agostini Corner and took fifth position on lap two. Frank then targeted Tom Chilton for fourth place. After applying pressure to the tail of the Ford Focus, Frank sent Tom Chilton wide out of the Riches on lap six comfortably taking fourth and trying to catch the leading three who were four seconds clear of him.
“I was a little worried about the start,” said the 24 year old Lancastrian, “but I pulled away well from the line and put myself in the best possible position. I was tucked right up in the pack; then there was a lot of dust and a Honda spinning in the middle of the track. I used my head and picked my way through it.”
In race two the orange Angel Water Coolers, branded Toyota Avensis retained its performance by gaining third place from the opening lap, defending it against veteran Jason Plato. Frank continued to hold third place until lap eight when an overheating problem caused by damage to the radiator from an earlier contact caused him to retire from the race and unable to take part in race three.
“I got hit from behind into the first corner,” said Frank, “and as a result I hit someone in front. From then on the car started to overheat, and it worsened as I came up behind Nash. I dropped back from him in the hope that some fresher air would help it, but it didn’t.”
As a result of his exceptional performance in race one Frank secured maximum BTCC Drivers points and a well-deserved place on the podium. After stepping down from the podium he had these comments,
“I can’t believe it… it’s absolutely incredible. It’s been such an epic journey from the first round in April. Now here I am standing on the podium. I’m speechless.
“The aim for the year was to get into the points. To get fourth overall and top independent at the sixth meeting of the year is way beyond our expectations. From day one we’ve known that the Avensis had the potential. To put everything together and to get a podium is the best reward for all the hard work that’s gone in.