10th May, 2021
This weekend at Thruxton saw Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing leave the Hampshire circuit leading the Independent Teams’ Standings, and third in the Overall Standings.
With the crew following the team filming the upcoming Amazon Prime Behind the Scenes documentary, it was the perfect opportunity for the team to be able to demonstrate the roller coaster ride of BTCC in one weekend, with changing and challenging conditions, consistent results and massive improvements all culminating in a podium and 2 cars in the Top 5 come close of play.
Saturday morning saw the first Free Practice of the season, and it was to be a rather wet start for all of us. Despite a full season away from any form of racing, double-champion Jason Plato showed why he’s such a formidable opponent, by rounding out the Top-5. Meanwhile, the session was to be something of a baptism of fire for teammate Dan Lloyd, who hadn’t visited Thruxton for four years, and hadn’t raced in the rain for another 2. Despite this, and with only a few dry testing sessions under his belt at other circuits in the car, Lloyd managed P13, less than .7 of a second behind Plato.
FP2 was similarly moist, giving both drivers the opportunity to get some more wet laps under their belt. Positions at the close of the session were similar, with Plato coming in P6, and Lloyd matching his previous position of P13.
Come Qualifying, the weather had started to dry up, with almost constantly changing conditions meaning getting a lap time in at the right moment was critical. Unfortunately for both drivers, traffic hampered the positions indicative of their pace, with both being held up at crucial points on their fast laps. In the end, Plato would start Race 1 P11, with Lloyd in an unrepresentative P22.
Sunday dawned dry, albeit with some moisture still in the air, meaning both drivers were on the back foot heading into the first race of the season, with zero dry testing available on the circuit beforehand. Despite this, both battled hard and made up excellent ground, with Plato crossing the line P6 and Lloyd P16.
Race 2 saw similar conditions to the earlier session, although a huge accident in the first corner meant the race was red flagged whilst the debris was cleared. Luckily all 3 drivers walked away, and the remaining competitors would restart from their original positions. Another incident early in the restarted race would see the shortened session continue under the Safety Car for a number of laps.
Despite running 27kgs of success ballast, Plato managed to keep his nose clean and fight his way up to P4 during the opening stages. A fantastic battle with Rowbottom saw both drivers vying for position across a number of laps, before the lack of ballast meant the Honda driver crossed the line just .3 of a second ahead of the former Champion. Slightly further back, Lloyd would cross the line P14, narrowly missing out on the upcoming Reverse Grid Draw, although this would make little difference when it came to Race 3.
The Reverse Grid Draw had put Plato P7 on the grid for Race 3, with Dan still P14. After a wet start, and with the track drying, a number of cars decided to come in for slicks, whilst we made the decision to stay out on wets. During the mid-stages of the session, it became clear that the track was drying quickly, giving the slick-shod racers a massive advantage. However, in the closing stages, the rain came down, meaning our wet setup came back into play, and saw Plato fight his way up to P3, beating Jake Hill across the line to snatch P2.
Teammate Lloyd had driven a similarly fantastic race, with the former BTCC race winner and TCR Champion fighting his way up from P14 to eventually take the flag P5, cementing a solid points haul, and proving that he is completely deserving of his place on the grid of the UK’s most competitive championship.
Adam Weaver, Power Maxed Racing Team Principal – “It sounds odd, but I’d forgotten just how much I missed the BTCC, and it felt great to be back, and even more so for the team to be leaving the circuit leading the Independents’ Standings. There’s a long way to go, but I’d like to think this’ll silence some of the naysayers who’ve being saying the Astra and Plato are past it over the winter. I’m even more excited for Snetterton than before, and can’t wait for the fans to be allowed back-it just isn’t the same without them.”
Martin Broadhurst, Power Maxed Racing Team Manager – “We were on the back foot coming into Sunday after failing to capitalise fully on Qualifying, but Race Day came together really well, and I think was a great consolidation of what could have been a much worse weekend. To come away leading the Independent Teams’ standings is a great result, and puts us in a great position heading into the next round at Snetterton.”
Jason Plato, #11 – “It’s great to be back! It’s been a strong weekend for me and the team-I’m really pleased that Dan [Lloyd] managed to get a good points score at the end. We’ve had a good solid points haul, some decent results and a podium, which I think sets us up well for the rest of the year.”
Dan Lloyd, #123 – “Really happy with that last race. Mega to salvage a strong result at the end of a very tough weekend and pick us up some points. Really happy with the performance of the car in the wet, though I think both the team and I need to make a couple of tweaks to find that sweet point in the dry. I think we’re going to be strong come Snetterton, and I’d like to thank the team for building a mega car. Hopefully, I’ve been able to give them some payback after a tough weekend.”
Teams’ Championship – P3
Independent Team Championship – P1
Jason Plato – P3 (P2 in Independents)
Dan Lloyd – P13 (P8 in Independents)