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Mark Blundell: “It’s been a massive learning curve”

Former F1 racer and Le Mans 24 Hours winner Mark Blundell admits that his debut in the BTCC provided him with “one of the biggest challenges” of his long and varied career.

Having signed up to drive a Trade Price Cars Racing Audi for his return to action, Blundell went into the opening meeting of the year at Brands Hatch keeping his expectations in check but was left with work to do after an off in qualifying left him 28th on the grid for race one.

Running on slick tyres allowed him to fight his way forwards to score points in 14th spot, whilst he would come through the pack again in race three to finish inside the top 20; having slipped back down in the field on the soft tyre in race two.

“This weekend has been one of the biggest challenges of my career in terms of the learning curve I’ve faced; it’s been incredibly steep,” he said. “I’ve had to learn about the car, the racing environment and the challenges of managing a soft tyre that certainly wasn’t the optimal one for the conditions.

“Overall, there is a huge amount that I can take away from Brands Hatch and the team has done a great job. Jake has picked up some really good results, and I’m pleased to have been able to score some points first time out in the car.

“To get three finishes and come back with a car that is in one piece is a plus point for me. My lap times have been competitive which is good, as I know that I still need to find some raw pace.

“When I do that, I feel I’ll be in a good place. I have to analyse and reflect on everything that I have learned this weekend and then take that into Donington Park next time out.”