Photo: WTCC Media

James Nash leaves Monza with independents’ points lead

Bamboo Engineering driver James Nash had cause to celebrate after Monza, leaving the weekend with the lead of the independents’ trophy, despite a tough weekend getting to grips with the Chevrolet Cruze.

The British driver finished seventh overall in both races, but in both races second in the independents’ classification, whilst the rival independent Chevrolets of Alex MacDowall and Michel Nykjaer both took a class win and a no-score each, which sees Nash lead with 16 points to team-mate MacDowall’s 12 heading to round two.

Consistency paid off for the 27-year-old, who was suffering all weekend with the Chevrolet.

“I’ve never felt totally comfortable with the car on braking terms even in the dry, so I think that was my main issue,” said Nash to TouringCarTimes.

“We got mugged a bit mid-race and then stuck in the spray and lost my brake markers which then caused more cars to catch me up; it’s just a learning experience with a new car. I just need to spend time with the car really and get used to it.”

In race two, Nash was investigated for having cut the chicane and gained an advantage, but the stewards decided that no penalty was warranted.

Nash was also involved late in the first race in an incident with Tom Boardman, which saw the fellow Brit eliminated from the race with a broken driveshaft.

“Tom was on the outside of me at Turn 6, just slightly behind and when I hit the brakes I think his braking point was maybe later than mine and his front wheel just caught my rear wheel and cut his track rod. Ther was nothing I can do, he was behind me,” said Nash.

Boardman was unhappy with the incident, which saw him start from the pit lane for race two after a massive repair job for the team.
“I could see he was struggling, and I was just getting in the groove, and he got a bad run out of the second chicane and I got behind him and managed to get a better drive,” said Boardman.

“I got beside him and then at the first Lesmo he’s got a bit more grunt so he pulled alongside me. I thought nothing of it as I thought he’d just turn in and go around the corner and I held my line, and then the next minute he’s come across a little bit and just touched my front wheel and it’s snapped the driveshaft, sub-frame, it’s in the biggest mess it’s been in a long time.”

Top 10 Scorecard

01 James Nash 16 pts
02 Alex MacDowall 12 pts
03 Michel Nykjær 11 pts
04 Fredy Barth 9 pts
05 Darryl O’Young 8 pts
06 Stefano D’Aste 6 pts
07 Fernando Monje 6 pts
08 Jean-Phillippe Dayraut 5 pts
09 Franz Engstler 4 pts
10 Charles Ng 2 pts