Rockingham in Northamptonshire was the scene for Round 8 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship with crazy weather cooking up an unpredictable storm.
Torrential rain, thunder and lightning saw qualifying red flagged for a period for safety reasons. The two Eurotech Honda Civic Type R’s performed well in the extreme wet conditions with Martin Depper and Jeff Smith putting in times that would see them both up in the top half of the grid, in P11 and P15 respectively.
Confirming the team’s confidence going in to the weekend that the car and engine package would be strong here on the technical Rockingham circuit.
The sun shone down on race day however luck was still not to be on Eurotech’s side, in race one Martin Depper was a victim of contact on lap one resulting in damage to the front suspension that meant an early retirement and DNF.
Smith was coming on strong and showing good pace battling the rear wheel drive BMW’s for 10th place and looking like he was on for a good finish when he suffered a tyre blow out to the front right, he limped the Honda back to the pit lane for a tyre change to finish the race two laps down in P25.
Race two unbelievably again saw Depper suffer more contact on lap one, more damage and another frustrating DNF. Smith made good progress from his P25 start and despite having to run on the un-preferred hard tyre for this race which put the car at a disadvantage he managed to finish in P17. However a subsequent clerk’s enquiry resulted in a third verbal warning of the season for Smith and a back of the grid start penalty for race three.
This meant both Eurotech Honda’s started from the back of the grid for race three, with Depper having to run on the hard tyres for this race. They both made progress through the field with Smith putting in an incredible drive from P30 to finish P13, 8th fastest on lap times and importantly securing some points from an otherwise non-scoring weekend. Depper put in a valiant drive up to P21 which was the best he could get from the difficult to manage hard tyre.
Eurotech are holding on to 5th place in the close Independent Teams Championship with Smith 9th and Depper 10th in the Independent Driver’s Championship. Despite the set-backs at Rockingham the team remain positive that they have good pace in the Type R’s and are looking forward to the penultimate round of 2016 at their home circuit of Silverstone.
Full Gallery below from Rockingham