Frank Wrathall says he hopes his Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship campaign will take a turn for the better when the season resumes this weekend at Snetterton.
The Dynojet Racing ace has endured a frustrating campaign to date and heads into the sixth round of the season down in 16th place in the championship standings, with a best finish of sixth but eight no-scores in the opening 15 races of the year.
However, Snetterton was the scene of one of Wrathall's best weekends of 2012 after he put his Toyota Avensis on pole for the first time and then took a podium finish, with the Lancashire racer hoping things will improve on the back of a 'useful' two-day test at the circuit earlier this month.
“We didn't get a lot of running in because we were experimenting with set-up changes which took a lot of time to make,” he said of the test. “While we didn't manage to find a set-up with which we were totally happy, we were at least able to eliminate some things. It was useful.
“Traditionally the second half of the season has been better for us. We know what we can do, it's just a case of getting everything right on the day and enjoying a bit of luck. We were on pole at Snetterton last year, and the quickest time set by anyone at the tyre test was not that much quicker than my 2012 time. We have done it once and we can do it again, although it will be hard.”
Wrathall heads into the Snetterton weekend on the back of a strong performance at the recent Silverstone Classic, where he picked up two victories at the wheel of a Super Touring Vauxhall Cavalier owned by his engineer Jonny Westbrook.
“It was absolutely incredible,” he said. “We thought it would be a lot harder this year than last, so we weren't expecting much. Then we had a wheel bearing go in qualifying and Jonny had to bodge it together; he didn't think it would last. In race one we got really lucky: it was madness. The only current BTCC driver on the grid - me - was the only one out there who stayed out of trouble. Everyone else was crashing into each other. I got through to third, which is probably where I should have finished, but then on the last lap the two leaders crashed.
“We made a lot of changes to the car for Sunday and it was absolutely transformed, 1.5s quicker over a lap. The race went brilliantly for me, I got a great start, pulled a gap and led all the way. We were the underdogs with that car and we did it proud; it was a mega weekend. It's great finally to have a good weekend and to remind myself what enjoying motorsport is all about.”