Frank Wrathall overcame tricky conditions at Thruxton to take strong results and a podium in his Dynojet Racing NGTC Toyota Avensis.
Wrathall’s weekend got off to a difficult start, with the Avensis finishing the first free practice session in 18th. He improved to finish 8th in FP2: “We struggled a bit in the wet to be honest, in FP1 especially. I think we were about five-and-a-half seconds off the pace. We were just struggling with the car. Then for FP2 we halved that deficit more so made a huge step forward.”
The Dynojet Racing driver improved again in a red flag interrupted qualifying session to set the third fastest time: “For qualifying the mixed conditions made it a little bit tricky, but the team got it absolutely spot on. The car was mega. I perhaps didn’t get the lap in that I should have done due to traffic, but I still managed to do five or six really good laps and put us third on the grid which equals my best ever qualifying. I was quite surprised by that result. I thought we’d be somewhere in the top ten, that was the aim. It was a little bit unexpected but I knew we’d be strong at this circuit and the team did a really good job so credit to them.”
Wrathall crossed the line in fifth after the first race, which was red flagged after 14 laps: “It was just so difficult with the conditions. I was struggling a little bit over some of the standing water. It was just a case of bringing it home in one piece. I had a really good race. Nothing spectacular and I had a few moments where it could have all gone wrong but I managed to keep it sensible and finish fifth which I was absolutely delighted about.”
In race two Wrathall was challenging Mat Jackson for the final step on the podium but the Motorbase Performance driver was able to hold him off: “We changed the car again for race two and it was a massive step forward. Again the pace we had in the car was really unexpected. I thought we’d be around the fifth, sixth, seventh battle but as soon as I had a few laps under my belt and the car came on it was absolutely fantastic. I could just really push and enjoy myself. It was a shame in the end that I didn’t manage to get on the podium because I’m sure a little bit more time and I would have.”
He did however find himself on the podium in race three, finishing third ahead of Jason Plato after starting the reverse grid race in sixth: “I could see the headlights coming up behind me, and saw from the pit boards that it was Jason Plato. Obviously you then have that on your mind; he’s quick, first of all, and he doesn’t mess about when making manoeuvres. I was really struggling at the end of the race with the tyres and he was edging closer to me. But there was no way he was coming past; I made sure that he wasn’t coming through. I’m just absolutely delighted for everyone, the team and all the sponsors and especially my dad. We’ve come through a tough time and to end up on the podium is fantastic.”
Wrathall’s Thruxton points haul saw him move up into seventh in the independent drivers’ championship with Dynojet Racing now fifth in the independent teams’ championship.