RML team manager Paul Field admitted that the Chevrolet team will have to 'focus on the positives' after seeing James Nash lose out on his maiden victory in the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton.
Nash endured a difficult start to the weekend in Norfolk when he was forced to sit out qualifying due to a technical issue on his Chevrolet Lacetti and was then forced to start the opening race from the pitlane after the car suffered a driveshaft failure.
A further failure forced him to retire and left the rookie to start the second race from 16th on the grid but he produced an impressive performance to come through to take eighth place and his maiden points finish.
The reverse grid draw put Nash on the front row of the grid for the final race, and he held second behind the fast-starting BMW of Rob Collard before a controversial incident at the Esses saw the two cars make contact – with Collard spinning off the circuit before being collected by an unsighted Stephen Jelley.
Nash was able to continue and held off the challenge of points leader Colin Turkington to take the chequered flag first, but then lost his maiden victory afterwards when officials deemed that he was at fault for the earlier incident and excluded the rookie from the results.
While disappointed with the ultimate outcome, Field said he was pleased with how his driver had performed and said the team could now look forward with confidence to the next round at Knockhill.
“James drove fantastically today,” he said. “We all know how quick the BMWs are off the line, so the plan for James was to make it through the first corner ahead of Vaulkhard, because we knew James had the pace; which he did. He then pulled a respectable gap over Vaulkhard and began to close in on Collard, bringing the gap down to under a second and staying firmly on the BMW's tail.
“Despite this being only his third event in the BTCC, James remained focused and determined to the end. He managed his tyres perfectly, maintained great pace and resisted enormous pressure when challenging Collard and being hunted by Turkington.
“The end result is obviously disappointing, but the stewards have looked at the footage and deemed the collision avoidable. We would like to extend the teams' best wishes to Rob Collard.
“We now have to focus on the positives and look forward to the next event.”