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Apr 24, 2014 - 05:48 PM
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Movistar Yamaha Head To South America For Round Three
Posted by: newsla on Apr 24, 2014 - 05:42 PM
Sports Cars
Movistar Yamaha Head To South America For Round Three


British Touring Car Championship racer Marc Hynes says that he has made strides towards the ultimate pace in his Quantel Bifold MG6 despite two trying races at Donington Park last weekend.

 

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Hynes, 36, said he was feeling much more at home behind the wheel of his Triple Eight Race Engineering-run car over the opening free practice sessions as he was able to run among the top five fastest machines around the 1.9-mile parkland circuit. Further tweaks to the chassis were encouraging and the Londoner was optimistic ahead of the qualifying session.

“It was great that we had better pace and I was feeling much more familiar in the car,” said Hynes. “I think I am becoming more comfortable with front-wheel drive, and we are making revisions that are positive. The driving is coming to me more naturally now.”

Despite the upturn in speed, Hynes didn’t get a chance to get a shot at a fast lap on new tyres in the 30-minute timed running as he was caught up in traffic on his optimum second run and it was too late for a third attack. He was left to line up in a frustrated tenth place. Hynes said: “It was annoying that we didn’t get the most from the session, because we had shown that we had more pace earlier on in the day. In this kind of competition, with this level of drivers, you need to get the maximum that you can.”

The weather for the opening race on Sunday was atrocious and Hynes made a poor getaway on the slippery surface – it was the first time he had started the car on a damp circuit. Hynes was shoved out of the train of cars jockeying for position in the opening few laps and the MG man dropped down to 15th place. He soon set about fighting his way back through the order and picked off car after car to eventually usurp former double touring car champion Alain Menu and bag 11th position at the chequered flag.

“I was frustrated with the start because I didn’t have enough clutch slip for the conditions and then I got too much wheelspin,” he explained. “And then I got roughed up a bit. There was a lot of bumping and nudging out there, and I ended up on the wrong end of it a bit – but once things settled down, I was able to get in to a rhythm and start to reel in the cars ahead.”

Race two brought more drama as Hynes had forgotten to switch on the windscreen wipers amid the downpour, and found himself unsighted on the 120mph Craner Curves on the opening lap.

The former F3 champion explains: “It was getting a bit fraught – I was looking around for the wiper switch as I could see cars either side of me! It was quite hairy. I got to the Old Hairpin and as I was coming out of the corner, I got a massive whack from behind which spun me around. That dropped me to the back of the pack and I was in no-man’s land after that.”

Hynes fought back, but another slip-up at the Old Hairpin later on dropped him down again. He finished in 23rd place.

The third and final race of the weekend only lasted a few hundred yards as Hynes was assaulted by a rival and spun in to the barriers after just one corner.

Despite the dramas of the weekend, Hynes says there are several positives to take way from the time in the car – the second event in to his comeback after a five-year sabbatical.

He said: “We clearly showed in the free practice sessions that things are beginning to gel and we had front-running pace. I need to iron out some of the rookie errors that I made, like the one in race two, and I need to make sure I qualify near the front. If I can, then there’s less chance of getting caught up in the midfield scrapes and I know I can run at the pace of the top guys. We are getting there and I am learning a lot of lessons about the racing. There’s a lot to look forward to.”

The next rounds of the championship on Sunday, May 4 will be broadcast live on ITV4 and ITV4 HD.

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