After his engine woes at Donington Park and Snetterton, Team Farecla driver Richard Marsh suffered more bad luck during qualifying for the latest round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill.

Marsh produced an encouraging performance during the two practice sessions at the Scottish circuit before he locked the wheels up on the Peugeot 307 and slid into the gravel at the Real Radio hairpin, with the car coming to rest against the tyre wall on the outside of the circuit.

When the car returned to the pit lane, team engineers set about preparing for qualifying only to discover that the exhaust valves inside the cylinder head were bent - the team then taking the decision to skip qualifying in order to fix the problem.

"When the car went through the gravel, the stones came up through the bottom of the engine bay and damaged the timing belt," Marsh explained. "That interfered with the timing of the engine and the knock-on effect is that we've bent the valves. Qualifying came a bit too soon to get it fixed in time."

However, despite the disappointment of being forced to watch from the sidelines, Marsh remains optimistic for the three races.

"We knew we were going to see an improvement here and we've certainly showed a fair few of our rivals what we're really capable of in the free practice session," he said. "But once again, luck hasn't been on our side when it comes to qualifying. What happened was just a typical racing incident.

"However, we're not a team that gives up easily and once the damage is repaired we'll come out fighting tomorrow."


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