GoMobileUK.com with Tech-Speed salvaged two top ten finishes on a difficult second weekend of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season at Donington Park.
On a circuit where rivals running with a turbo engine had an advantage over those using normally aspirated units, Paul O'Neill managed to take eighth place in races one and three, although his hopes of a triple score at the wheel of his Chevrolet Cruze was ended when he was forced off into the gravel by Rob Collard in race two.
“We knew it was going to be a difficult weekend but I thought we could have come away from it with three top ten finishes,” he said. “We managed to get two points finishes but the incident in race two really cost me. In that race, we had the pace to match the turbos and if I'd finished inside the top six there I would have had a better grid slot for race three.
“As it was, I got held up at the start with the accident in front of me and then lost time behind Rob but we managed to come through and pick up some points. We expected it to be hard at Donington so we just have to put the weekend behind us and it's onwards and upwards at Thruxton; our championship will really start there.”
Team-mate John George was forced out of race one at the start when he was hit by Dave Newsham's BMW, before he bounced back to finish twelfth and eleventh in the remaining two races, with a spin in the final race while running side-by-side with O'Neill ending his hopes of a first points finish of the year.
“We were just out-powered all the way really by the turbo cars so it was a difficult weekend,” he said. “I got a really good start in race one but then all of a sudden I got hit in the rear and next thing I knew I was in the wall. In race two, it was a case of being steady and staying out of trouble and people just seemed to want to thrown themselves off in front of me.
“It all looked good in race three and I was up in seventh place, but we just didn't have the power to match the turbos. I was forced wide through the Craner Curves and then when Paul was side-by-side through the Old Hairpin, neither of us wanted to make contact with each other and I just got a wheel off circuit and had a spin.
“It was a shame that I missed out on the chance to score some points, but we always knew it was going to be a tough weekend here.”