Tom Boardman enjoyed his best pair of races, finishing in the top ten in both races in the Special Tuning Racing SEAT León WTCC, in his third race with the new ORECA-developed 1.6 litre turbocharged engine.
Though Boardman qualified in 19th place, despite a strong showing in Free Practice 2 where he was fourth fastest overall, the 28-year-old made good progress in both races to finish tenth and eighth, and pick up his first overall points since Slovakia as well as move up two spots in the Yokohama Independents’ Trophy.
“Every time I get in the car I’m learning so much more,” said Boardman to TouringCarTimes. “In Portimão it was just alien, the next race it was still a little bit, and now just more and more time I’m getting better and better and getting the feel of the car and how to drive it.”
The race wasn’t without dramas, with a problem in race two giving Boardman cause for concern for a brief moment.
“Half way through thesecond race, the engine mounting broke, and I thought initially it might have been the suspension, and radioed in and said if it gets any worse I’m going to have to come in, but then I could tell it was the engine mounting so I just carried on.”
Boardman was fighting with former British Touring Car rival Alex MacDowall’s Bamboo Chevrolet in the latter stage of the race, but the Englishman said the SEAT was just not strong enough against the Chevrolet.
“The Chevy’s just in a different league with the amount of power it’s got. I was catching him everywhere, and then just out of the hairpin at the final turn it was just like a bullet and was gone.”
Looking ahead to 2013, Boardman hopes to be return with the SEAT and have a stronger season racing with the the new engine, which he first got to run this year at Portugal in June.
“The SEAT chassis is awesome. They’re going to try and develop it a little bit more and with Chevrolet going it’s great for us, it will give us a bit of a fighting chance really. It’s just getting near the end of the season now, and hopefully we can get a podium before or at Macau.”