Wrathall’s bad luck goes on at Thruxton

Frank Wrathall in action at the Thruxton.
Frank Wrathall in action at the Thruxton.

Frank Wrathall’s bad luck continued in the third round of the British Touring Car Championship.

The former Lancaster Royal Grammar School pupil finished well down the field in the first two races at Thruxton circuit in Hampshire before retiring from the third due to technical problems.

The weekend had started promisingly for Wrathall when he qualified eighth for the first of Sunday’s races.

However the long-running issues that plagued Toyota throughout last season returned to blight the weekend.

Wrathall got a good start to the first race of the day and was able to hold onto eighth for the first few laps of the race eventually relenting to pressure from Jeff Smith and dropping down to ninth place on the fourth lap.

At half way his team Dynojet Toyota began to develop a handling problem and the Garstang racer was forced to ease off and tumbled down the order, finishing a disappointing 15th.

The second race initially looked to be more promising than the first with Wrathall gaining several places in the first few corners before he was forced to take evasive action onto the grass to avoid the spinning Ford Focus of Aron Smith.

One of the major weakness of the Avensis is that if it runs off the track the radiator is prone to clog up with grass causing the engine to overheat.

Wrathall was forced to pit or retire several times last season due to overheating after running over grass and this time was no exception.

He came into the pits at the end of the first lap to have the radiator cleared of blockages costing him valuable time.

He was able to rejoin the race but did so in last position and never one to give up Wrathall carried on regardless and was able to claw back some of the lost places and came home in 19th position.

The final race of the weekend was over before it even started when Wrathall was forced to pull over during the warm-up lap and stop with an engine issue bringing to a premature close to what can only be described as a weekend to forget for team Dynojet.

However with the next round of the BTCC five weeks away the team have plenty of time to get some more testing miles done and address the issues that have cropped up this weekend.