Crash.Net BTCC News
Emotional O’Neill repays faith at Snetterton
6 August 2009
Paul O'Neill admitted he was thrilled to repay the faith shown in him by the Tech-Speed team after securing his first podium finish in the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship since the 2003 season at Snetterton.
O'Neill had impressed on a number of occasions at the wheel of his sunshine.co.uk with Tech-Speed Honda Integra, only for bad luck at Thruxton, Donington and Croft to rob him of the chance to make a return to the podium.
However, a fine drive in the opening race of the weekend at Snetterton saw the former Vauxhall driver take third place and he followed it up with two more top six finishes later in the day – despite running into the rear of Colin Turkington behind the Safety Car in race three.
However, it was the podium finish in race one which saw an emotional O'Neill in tears on the Snetterton podium and he said he was glad to have repaid the faith shown by the people who had worked hard to get him back on the grid.
"It's hard to sum up the weekend really," he said. "Tech-Speed and Sunshine.co.uk have given me the best car possible and all I could was go out there and try to get the best results possible. I believe the car is capable of running in the top six at any circuit, but the work we carried in the test really helped. To run inside the top three and get a podium was unbelievable. We thought it could
happen, but its brilliant that it actually did.
"There are so many people who have put a lot of effort into getting me back into the BTCC, and they didn't need to do that. They could easily have gone for a driver who could bring some money into the team and who had a large budget, but they have stuck by me and bringing home some silverware is the best way possible for me to repay them all. That's why there was so much emotion on the podium and this result is for them – it's not for me at all. I couldn't wish to have a better team around me.
"Of course there is some disappointment with what happened in race three and I'm sure Colin wondered what the hell I was doing when I ran into the back of him at 120mph! Without that, I think we could have got a win as I feel I had the pace to get ahead of him and James but these things happen and I can't complain after the result earlier in the day."