Disappointing end to season for Frank at slippery Brands Hatch

Frank Wrathall at Brands Hatch.
Frank Wrathall at Brands Hatch.

The British Touring Car Championship drew to a dramatic conclusion last weekend at Brands Hatch for the final three races of the season.

Frank Wrathall went into the weekend with high hopes of repeating his maiden victory in the very last race of the season last year.

Wrathall qualified well in Saturday’s unseasonal sunshine despite a brief spin and trip across the grass, he set a competitive lap time of 1:31.771 just half a second away from pole position which lined him up eighth for the first race on Sunday.

The weather on Sunday was anything but sunny.

The combination of low temperatures, torrential rain and high winds meant the conditions of the track were just about the worst case scenario for the drivers.

After a good solid start Frank only made it two corners before contact from a car behind damaged his rear wheel forcing him to retire and ended his race on the first lap of the weekend.

After retiring from the first race Wrathall found himself once again at the back of the grid for the penultimate race of the season.

Wrathall started well as usual and was soon displaying his talent by fighting his way through the pack.

By the end of the third lap he had already gained an impressive nine places and was up to fourteenth.

As the race progressed the weather conditions deteriorated and visibility became worse.

None of this seemed to phase Wrathall as he continued to push further up the order being helped along by other people making mistakes in the tricky conditions.

After starting twenty fourth Wrathall went on to finish tenth leaving him well placed to attack in the final race of the year.

The weather cleared up slightly for the final race of the season but with so much standing water around the circuit conditions were still very slippery.

After being passed by two fast starting BMW’s on the run up to the first corner Wrathall was soon involved in a fantastic five car battle for tenth place.

The struggle continued for several laps until eventually the conditions caught Frank out and he slithered wide and across the grass at Graham Hill bend.

This caused the problem that has plagued the Toyota all season as the trip across the turf had filled the radiator with grass causing the engine to overheat.

Dynojet had attempted to design a release system that drops the cage covering the radiator and hopefully clears the blockage.

However, the chord that connects to the release snapped when Frank operated it leaving him no option but to pull into the pits and have the blockage manually removed.

This demoted him to the back of the pack and he went on to finish twenty first.

After a season of bad luck Wrathall scored seventy six points and ends the championship in sixteenth place out of the forty drivers who competed this year.