Through careful management of funds and the arrival of two new sponsors – Protec Fuel Systems & Royal Purple Lubricants, the team arrived at Donington Park on completely level terms with their competitors for the final 2 races of the season.
Being able to fit new tyres whenever we wanted felt advantageous and participating in the Friday practise was a big help when it came to be in the top 5 fastest that day.
However, the biggest assistance was bringing Marcus from Vmax (the engine builders) to oversee the data from both the onboard loggers and the official ECU logger. This had been part of the gearbox problem at Brands and this had also showed a problem with the power delivery that had gone unnoticed throughout the season.
Following the Friday and the work that we’d done with Marcus, Darelle was able to drive the car to its full potential. On the Saturday morning, he was the quickest car on the track in free practice and was the fastest TCR when it mattered in qualifying.
From the front row of the grid, he was alleged to have jumped the start and received a drive-through penalty. He took to the pits to serve the penalty but not until after he had taken the lead of the race.
The drive through the pit lane had let all of the other cars pass but that didn’t deter him, going from 9th position, he stormed through the field to finish 4th.
After the first race, the stewards took the decision that Darelle had been the cause of an incident which disadvantaged another driver and Darelle was given a 5 place penalty. Unfortunately, this nullified his fabulous drive in the first race, dropping him back down the grid to start from 9th position for Race 2.
The second race again showed the pace of Darelle and the car was mighty impressive as he stormed through the field to finish three 10ths of a podium position in 4th place. He had shown fantastic pace, being only three 100ths of the fastest lap of the race.
Although the weekend didn’t go entirely to plan, the car had showed great pace and showed that Darelle has the speed required to complete at the front of the grid. In the end, we finally obtained the result that the team deserved, scoring enough points to finish 3rd in both the Drivers’ Championship and the Team Championship.