Josh Price and his A-Plan Academy Subaru Levorg GT endured a difficult time at his home race of Silverstone, after a tricky opening race in mixed conditions and a collision from a rival driver under the safety car ruined his weekend. Price however is looking forward to the season finale at Brands Hatch GP where he aims to carry over his strong form and history at the circuit to end the season on a high!
Silverstone was never going to be an easy circuit for the Subaru Levorgs with the National Circuit favouring the front wheel drive cars and coupled with the fact that the team had been hit with another boost adjustment, it was clear that it was going to be a tough weekend.
With Silverstone being the penultimate races of the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, every point that was up for grabs would be absolutely crucial in Team BMR's bid for the Drivers, Manufacturers and Teams titles.
Racing on the shorter National Circuit, compared to the full Grand Prix circuit used in other racing series - the times were always going to be close, with the straight from the exit of Becketts and up to Brooklands. The entire 32 car strong field was separated by less than one second! Price qualified in 19th position, frustrated with a lack of straight line speed - but he was less than 0.5s off pole position and 0.2s from championship challenging teammate Ash Sutton.
The opening race of the weekend took place in overcast conditions and on a slightly damp circuit, with the threat of rain ever increasing. As the lights went out, Price made a strong get away well off
the damp start line and the drivers and held his positions for the first
few laps as the field ran nose to tail around the compact National Circuit.
Wet tyres were on standby as the rain then started to fall on some parts of the circuit from lap three onwards, meaning drivers would head into the unknown on every corner and every lap with unpredictable weather - resulting in tricky conditions on track.
Price ran wide at Copse corner on lap three, gliding off circuit on the wet outside kerb which dragged him off into the run-off area. Costing him valuable corner speed and positions, as he dropped down to the rear of the field in 30th position.
Conditions began to stabilise a few laps later, as the Subaru's then began to enter more comfortable territory. Price began to make up ground and moved himself up into 25th position and making further ground on his rivals in front.
The race was brought to a premature end after a huge accident involving Team BMW drivers Rob Collard, Andrew Jordan and the TAG Passat CC of Will Burns. Despite serious damage to Collard and Burns' car, no serious injuries were reported. The race was due to restart, however the size of the job to clear the track of the striken cars meant there was no choice to red flag the race.
Price was classified 21st at the finish, recovering well from the early race dramas.
Race two, starting from 21st on the grid - Price vaulted up three positions and into 18th position at the start as the cars sorted themselves out over the opening lap. Three Subaru Levorg's of Jason Plato, Josh Price and James Cole were running almost in tandem in 16th, 18th and 19th position at the mid race point as they worked together to work through the field.
The Subaru's continued to work through the field in the remainder of the race - frustrated behind rival cars with much greater straight line speed made for difficult progress on the power sensitive circuit.
Price crossed the line in 16th position, just behind teammate Plato.
The third and final race of the weekend saw Price start from 15th on the grid, after a late race two decision was made to put his teammate and championship contender Ash Sutton to the back of the grid in controversial circumstances.
Price made his third strong start of the day, moving up into the points positions early on as he battled in the competitive mid field, before being pushed wide onto the straight which pushed him back into 19th position.
On lap three, drama unfolded at the exit of Luffield, as teammate Plato was hit by Josh Cook's MG - pitching him into a spin and collecting the Ford Focus of Stefan Jelley and the BMW of Colin Turkington. Plato was out on the spot, as Price and Sutton took evasive action to avoid the striken cars infront. The safety car was then deployed to clear the circuit.
Price was running in 15th position and back into the points, before a bizarre accident which saw the Honda Simpson Exhaust entrant of Matt Simpson, crash into the back of Price's A-Plan Academy Subaru Levorg under safety car conditions - pitching him into the gravel and taking him out of the race!
No penalty was applied to Simpson which compounded Price's run of terrible luck - as he was unable to race on and challenge for more points.
Josh Price “Silverstone was always going to be a tricky weekend for us but we fought hard. Race one didn’t go to plan and after dropping down the order but I was pleased to fight my way back up to 21st place. Race two was tough being mid-pack and I was disappointed to just miss out on a point scoring position finishing in 16th. We were very unlucky in race three having our race ended early after being hit under the safety car. Roll on Brands Hatch!”
The British Touring Car Championship heads into the final race of the ten round and thirty race long 2017 season at Brands Hatch, racing on the GP circuit layout.
Price took his maiden Renault Clio Cup victory at the circuit this time last year - so he has high hopes and confidence heading into the season finale this season as well.
The aim is to end the season on a high onboard his A-Plan Academy Subaru Levorg GT, ran by Team BMR. The final three races of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship take place on the 1st October, with all three races as always live on ITV4 on Sunday.