By Chris Roberts/Widerviewphoto.com
The 8th round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship took place last weekend at the Rockingham Motor Speedway in Northamptonshire. This circuit is a banked circuit with an infield section, similar to what Formula 1 used at Indianapolis in the US.
|Dan Welch in action at Knockhill|
After a strong weekend at the previous round in Knockhill in Scotland (left), with the best result of 6th place in Race 3 the Welch MotorSport team, and team owner and driver Dan Welch were looking for another strong weekend.
Boss John Welch felt the team had got the setup just about perfect so Dan could show his undoubted talent.
The circuit is short but undulating but lots of gradient changes which suits a car setup that way.
The weekend forecast was for heavy rain on the Sunday, and so teams were trying to make sure they got out in all weather’s, with FP1 wet and FP2 and qualifying dry.
|Dan Welch in Qualifying action at Rockingham|
After limited running in FP1 Dan Welch, in his Proton GEN2, only got a couple of laps in before his driveshaft failed. so the team changed it and then the new broke before he got out of the pit lane!.
For qualfying later that afternoon Dan Welch got out for a decent session and in the 10 flying laps he completed he managed a 15th place on the grid from the 27 car field.
On the race day on Sunday the sun was out early on but mid morning the rain came so teams had to setup the cars for a wet race and run with groved rain tyres.
|Damage after Race 1 accident|
After the green flag lap the red light went out and the rain started with the long drag around the banked turn 1 up to the tight, but wide, hairpin at Deene. Miraculously all the field made it around without incident but further around the lap a couple of cars clashed ahead of Dan Welch and he spun in avoidance, but then was nudged inadvertently back onto the track. Most of the field missed him but Andy Neate in his Chevolet Cruze couldn’t avoid and hit him head on.
The safety car was then deployed, and after an inspection in the medical centre Dan Welch was found to have a fractured pelvis, which will put his availability for the next race at Silverstone in doubt.
The team will be putting the car back together (it was too badly damaged in any case) ready for the Silverstone races on September 29th 2013