Frank Wrathall and the Dynojet Racing team secured a milestone result in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton after becoming the first team running a car to the Next Generation Touring Car regulations to score a point in the series.
Wrathall qualified an impressive seventh on the grid for the opening race of the weekend and then produced an equally impressive performance in the opening race as he came through the field to finish fourth having battled ahead of both James Nash and Tom Chilton on track.
As well as finishing fourth overall, Wrathall also took Independent class honours for the first time and looked set to follow it up with a top three finish in race two. However, having held third for much of the race ahead of defending champion Jason Plato, Wrathall was forced to retire when the engine in his car overheated after contact on lap one – with the result that he was also forced to miss the final race of the weekend.
However, putting that disappointment to one side, Wrathall was understandably delighted with the earlier result.
“I can't believe it, it's absolutely incredible,” he said. “It's been such an epic journey from the first round in April. Now here I am standing on the podium. I'm speechless.
“The aim for the year was to get into the points. To get fourth overall and top independent at the sixth meeting of the year is way beyond our expectations. From day one we've known that the Avensis had the potential. To put everything together and to get a podium is the best reward for all the hard work that's gone in.
“The Toyota Avensis was good all the way to the flag; there were a lot of unknowns about how the car would perform towards the end of a race but in relation to everyone else it was brilliant.”
Aside from Wrathall, Rob Austin's Audi A4 picked up its first point for fastest lap in race two before the former F3 racer took a tenth place finish in race three, while the debuting Proton Gen-2 of Daniel Welch took three finishes on its first weekend in the series.