A popular phrase often coined in sport is that 'you make your own luck', but try telling that to Tom Boardman and Special Tuning Racing, who simply have not had any this year, everything from accident damage to missing races due to technical failures has marred their 2013 FIA WTCC campaign.
This time things looked better and he was sitting as high as twelfth in qualifying, but a small fire around the exhaust damaged his set of qualifiers and as a result he eventually dropped down the order to 23rd, even though he was only a second off the pole time at that stage in Q2.
After making progress in race one and gaining positions to run higher than previously in 17th, he was forced to pull into the pits with only five laps to go, with a similar issue that has dogged the team this year, an engine misfire, which forced the 29 year old to retire from the race.
The second race proved similar, after avoiding the Muller/Michelisz coming together at the start, Boardman settled into a consistent pace and was running up in 16th at one stage, but this time, his SEAT was halted by a fuel issue and he was once more forced to retire with nine laps left to run.
After the disappointing races, the former BTCC race winner spoke of the 'gremlins' which stopped progress this weekend.
“To end both races in this manner is very difficult as I was happy with my drives," A disgruntled Boardman said. "We were obviously very unfortunate in qualifying to have the fire which ruined my chance of starting higher up the grid. It is very important to qualify well here as overtaking is hard with the short laps.
"We need to replace all the fuel system parts before the next meeting to ensure the gremlins do not return and ruin our races in Shanghai."
The team will be hoping for some kind of turnaround for Shanghai in over a months' time and will hope to run nearer the front to gain something from a difficult season so far. The Yokohama trophy driver remains pointless in the overall championship and has only two independent category points.
by Dexter Fielding