Lea Wood came close to taking his first podium result in the Vauxhall Vectra at Snetterton in the reversed grid final race, until a gearbox problem late in the race robbed him of second place.
The team with one of the smallest budgets on the grid took two ninth place finishes in the first two races of the day in the ex-Triple Eight Vauxhall Vectra, and courtesy of the top nine reverse grid draw made by World Touring Car Championship driver Rob Huff, found himself on pole position for the final race of the day.
The 27-year-old held the lead for the first few laps before he was passed by Dave Newsham, also running a Vauxhall Vectra, but the two left the battling pack behind and Wood looked set for his first podium result until he was robbed by a gearbox problem three laps from the finish.
“I’m obviously gutted not to finish, but the car was good, we got a good start and managed to pull away a bit of a gap,” said Wood to TouringCarTimes. “Then Dave (Newsham) reeled me in, but I managed to stick on the back of him, but then we suffered a broken gear which put a stop to it. We just brought it home as obviously it could have made a lot more damage.”
Wood’s pole position, though it was through the reversed grid system, was the first time the Hereford driver has started from first on the grid in a BTCC race.
“You always are a little bit (nervous), but I’ve been in that position before in other championships,” said Wood. “It makes no odds, it’s still a race at the end of the day.”