David Pinkney suffered a weekend of mixed emotions at Donington Park, despite scoring a seventh top ten finish of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season.
Pinkney had been forced to start the opening race from 18th on the grid after an off in qualifying damaged the radiator on his Vauxhall Vectra, with the Pinkney Motorsport team forced to change the engine on Sunday morning ahead of the opening race.
Having avoided the incidents ahead, Pinkney climbed to ninth place before grass thrown up by Tom Boardman ahead blocked the radiator and forced him to back off as the engine started to overheat – dropping him back to tenth.
Contact from Andy Neate ruined his hopes of a points finish in race two as he took the flag down in 18th place but having climbed to twelfth in the final race, more grass in the radiator again saw Pinkney forced to back off as he took the flag in 13th.
“It's frustrating when things that you can't control affect the results on track,” he said. “The pace was there in the car and we showed it can be quick, especially in the final race when I managed to set a 12.8 lap despite being in traffic. However, our race day has been ruined by the fact that the grass around the circuit had been cut and was thrown up into the radiator causing the engine to overheat, which shouldn't be a problem we have to deal with.”
Team manager Andrew Dean was pleased with the way the team had improved the car over the course of race day, even if that progress wasn't reflected in the overall results.
“Yet again we've made changes throughout the day which have made the car quicker but we haven't been rewarded with the results,” he said. “In the opening race we were running strongly before grass blocked the radiator and David had to back off, so even though we scored tenth place, the potential was there for more. It was disappointing that another driver cost us the chance to fight for points in race two and then in the final race, we could run easily with the top eight until more grass in the radiator meant we had to back off.
“We had a car that had the potential to score in all three races so it's disappointing that we haven't got the result for the boys. Lady luck hasn't been on our side but we'll regroup for Brands Hatch and hope to end the season well.”