Photo: PSP Images

Mark Blundell: “I’m finally getting my head around the car”

Former F1 racer Mark Blundell said he felt he was finally “getting his head around” his Audi S3 after securing his best result of the BTCC season to date at Silverstone.

The Trade Price Cars Racing man went into the weekend looking to try and push for points on the back of a solid weekend at Knockhill that yielded three race finishes, including a first top 20 result since Oulton Park.

Having lost track time to a mechanical issue in practice, Blundell qualified back in 28th place but failed to make it to the finish in race one after being clipped by the BMW of Stephen Jelley, forcing him into the pits to retire.

Despite then being forced wide in the early stages of race two, Blundell worked his way forwards up the field to finish in 18th spot and then made the most of a decision to switch to wet tyres behind the safety car in race three to come through to 13th in race three – marking his second points finish of the season and his best result to date.

“We didn’t do it the easy way, but I’m really pleased to be able to go away from Silverstone with some more points under my belt and two decent race results,” he said.

“It was unfortunate that race day started on a low but there was nothing I could have done to avoid what happened. I could see the cars ahead battling for position and I tried to get the inside line onto the back straight. Jelley then had a moment and came back across into the car as I was going through, which put me out.

“It meant there was work to do in race two and I was happy with the progress we were making after the opening lap. It was a shame for me that they red-flagged it, because I think we could have scored points if it had gone the distance.

“Race three was a challenge in the conditions but I really enjoyed it and it was great to score some points to pay back the team, and also all of my partners for their support – particularly on a weekend when we had a lot of them with us trackside.

“I finally feel like I’m starting to get my head around what needs to be done to extract more from the car, which has been difficult given how different it is to the cars I have raced throughout my career. Hopefully we can now end the year well when we go back to Brands Hatch.”