Thorney Motorsport may be forced to skip the upcoming round of the British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park due to ongoing issues with their Vauxhall Insignia.
The Milton Keynes-based independent team is competing in their first full season of the BTCC, with most recent experience in the Britcar (now the British Endurance Championship) and the Dunlop Production Saloon Car Championship.
The team took part at the opening round at Brands Hatch, but dropped out after qualifying at Donington Park for round two and decided to skip the third round at Thruxton to work on the car.
The team’s pre-season plans were to increase to a two-car effort from the upcoming meeting at Oulton Park, but have been unable to find a driver with budget to complete the build on the second car.
The team tested this week at Silverstone with their Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) specification Vauxhall Insignia.
“If I’m honest I didn’t want to drive it, but what we’ve done is pretty much ignore everyone’s ‘advice’ and literally go back to square one…and it’s worked,” said Team Principal and driver John Thorne. “The car was immediately better from the first turn of the wheel, rear end grip is back, I can feel what the car is doing whereas before it was like driving a plank of wood, overall I’m very happy.”
There were some issues in the test however that the team need to address with the brakes, front-end roll and engine, which may prevent them from competing next weekend at Oulton Park and possibly even Croft which takes place on June 24th.
“We’ve identified the issue with brakes we have had and it’s a simple issue of getting the bias better with different components and the handling whilst much improved still has a long way to go to be competitive,” added Thorne.
“Wearing out front splitters might show I’m pushing hard but clearly the car has too much roll which we need to cure. However the big issue is the misfire, at 5,500rpm it’s like hitting a wall so is completely killing any concept of getting some comparative times to see how we are developing, it’s soul destroying if I’m honest.”
If Thorney are absent from Oulton Park, the grid stands to remain at 22 cars for the weekend.