David Pinkney enjoyed a solid start to the new Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season with three top ten finishes at Thruxton.
After a limited pre-season testing programme, Thruxton marked Pinkney's first race weekend at the wheel of his Pinkney Motorsport-run Vauxhall Vectra, with the BTCC veteran lining up 13th on the grid for the opening race.
Eighth place in race one was followed by tenth in race two, and Pinkney made it three top ten finishes from three with tenth in the final race of the weekend – although he could have been higher without a trip across the grass at Church.
“This is the first time I've picked up three top ten finishes on a weekend which is pleasing, but it could have been better if I hadn't run wide at Church in the final race,” he said at the end of the weekend. “I got ahead of the two Fords and was closing on Andy Neate but just got onto the grass and lost speed, which cost me a few places.
“The chassis was brilliant this weekend but the extra weight we carry at the front of the car with the new NGTC engine affects the handling, so we haven't got the package right just yet. The team has been blinding this weekend, they've worked like clockwork and I'm proud of them all. We had a good weekend, we enjoyed it and now we are looking forward to Rockingham.”
Team manager Andrew Dean was also pleased with the team's performance in its first race weekend together, with the focus now turning to the remainder of the season.
“It's been a solid performance from the team throughout the weekend,” he said. “We are still learning about the car and made changes during the weekend which allowed us to maintain our level of performance. We know there is still time to come to allow us to challenge for podium finishes, but that time will come.
“The Swindon Engine was reliable in its first race meeting and they were helpful with their support during the weekend. There is still some development work to do but we are looking forwards to Rockingham and the rest of the season with fresh optimism.”