Andy Neate endured a weekend to forget on his return to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Rockingham, with an accident in the opening race restricting him to less than a lap on track on race day.
Neate had gone into the weekend hoping to challenge for a first points finish in his IP Tech Race Engineering-run Chevrolet Cruze, which was running with increased boost having competed on a base level at both Snetterton and Knockhill – the latter with Mike Bushell at the wheel.
Electrical gremlins restricted Neate to 21st on the grid for the opening race but his hope of working forwards were ended in abrupt fashion as the field entered Gracelands for the first time.
A clash ahead left the Proton of Dan Welch stationary on the circuit and with nowhere to go when he came across Welch's car, the resultant heavy contact was enough to put both cars out on the spot.
The damage sustained would then keep both out of the remainder of race day, with Welch also picking up a pelvic fracture.
“That's one of those weekends where I really don't know what to say,” Neate said. “Heading to Rockingham we were really confident about what we could achieve and with the increased boost, we were keen to show people what the car is capable of on a level playing field. The electrical issue on Saturday put us on the back foot but I got away well when race one started and made up a few places before Deene.
“Someone then hit me meaning I lost those places again and then when I got to Gracelands, it all kicked off in front of me. I had nowhere to go and I can't put into words how disappointing it is after everything the team has put into repairing the car after the damage we sustained at Knockhill. We'll go away and regroup ahead of Silverstone.”