Crash.Net BTCC News
O'Neill fights Fords for podium
25 August 2010
Paul O'Neill took Team sunshine.co.uk with Tech-Speed Motorsport to the podium for the third time this season with a stunning drive in the final Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race of the weekend at Silverstone.
O'Neill had earlier finished seventh and sixth in the opening two races before securing pole for race three thanks to the reverse grid draw.
Although he broke away at the start, the deployment of the Safety Car at the end of the opening lap meant he lost his lead – and had the LPG-powered cars of Tom Onslow-Cole and Tom Chilton right behind.
When the race restarted, O'Neill managed to keep Onslow-Cole at bay for two laps before losing the lead but an impressive display saw him keep in tough with the leader and pull away from Chilton to match the result he secured earlier in the year at Rockingham.
“Without the Safety Car, we had a chance to win that race but we lost the best of the tyres when it was deployed,” he said. “We knew the Fords were going to be quick but I just went out there and raced my own race. I got my best start of the year and was able to defend well and second place is almost as good as a win. The fact I was able to pull away from Chilton is testament to the Tech-Speed for the job they have done in giving me a great car.
“We don't have a big budget like some of the other teams, but every time I go out on track, the team tells me to do my best. That's exactly what I did and a podium is a great result.”
Team-mate John George enjoyed one of his strongest weekends in the sister Honda Integra, despite failing to score any points.
After a tough run to 17th in race one, George battled through to lie twelfth in race two before being tipped into a spin by Mat Jackson and dropping back down the order, and he ran as high as ninth in race three before engine issues forced him into retirement.
“I knew all weekend that we had the pace in the car and it was great to be on it,” he said, “even if it's disappointing not to be able to score a point. This has been my best weekend ever when it comes to my own performance at the wheel of the car as I was able to dice with the likes of Jackson and Plato on track.
“The incident with Jackson in race two soured it a little bit as he touched me a few times and didn't need to do that, but overall I can go away from the weekend happy with how I've performed.”