Josh Price heads into the BTCC Summer Break in high spirits after a career best 8th overall in qualifying at Croft. The potential in the Subaru Levorg package and the growing status of Price was clear to see at Croft, despite being luckless in the opening race of the weekend which compromised races 2 and 3.
The weekend started with a wet and windy Qualifying on Saturday afternoon that lasted just nine minutes and would see 12 cars involved in a high-speed crash - 3 drivers being left with serious injuries. Luke Davenport went off on the fastest corner of the track that caused damage to his car which proceeded to drop its oil onto a very wet track, leaving the surface like an ice rink. he session was then red flagged and the decision was made by the officials not to restart it, following a lengthy period where two drivers were extricated from their cars and the mammoth task of clearing the debris took place.
Josh Price took his career best overall qualifying position of 9th position in the shortened session, albeit with plenty more pace in hand before the incident took place. Price would then move up a spot following the demise of Aron Taylor-Smith from 6th on the grid after he was not able to race due to the extent of the damage to his car and the injuries received to himself - meaning Price would start 8th on the grid for the opening race of the weekend at Croft and a career best so far!
Price made a solid start to the opening race and held his 8th position from the start as the pack made it through the opening corners and laps of the tight and twisty North Yorkshire circuit. Teammate Jason Plato slid wide which allowed Price through into 7th by
the end of the opening lap.
There was then a further gain for Price after passing a stricken Matt Neal who sustained damage at the rear of his Honda. At the start of lap four, Collard found a way past Price who immediately fought back for several laps taking the place back on lap eight. Josh Cook from 5th place also began to drop down the order with a problem elevating the young Subaru driver up into 5th position in the race - a long way ahead of his Jack Sears rivals.
Lap ten would spell disaster however for Price, as he was hit heavily from behind and spun round at the hairpin and into the path of teammate James Cole. The cars made heavy contact forcing Price to retire and limp back to the pits, thwarting a brilliant performance that deserved much more.
After the accident in race two, Price was forced to start from the back of the grid. He made a great start gaining five positions on the opening corners - however all his early work was undone after an incident infront saw a car rejoin the track causing a chain reaction of contact. This broke the bonnet pins on Price's Subaru Levorg and forced him into the pits to repair the damage. After the damage was repaired, Price rejoined the race and finished in 24th position.
The final race of the weekend, starting from 24th on the grid saw him gain a spot whilst avoiding the first corner and first chicane melee on the opening lap. As the race went on, Price would move through the field up to 19th position - until once again his progress was blunted by contact at the final harpin. Contact from behind resulted in race ending damage for the youngster, as he limped back to the pits to retire.
Despite the incidents blighting his progress in the races, a great qualifying performance and running as high as 5th in the opening race of the weekend has shown great potential in Price and the equipment where clear progress is evident. If hadn’t been for the incidents, it could have been a whole different ball game for Price, competing in more great battles at the sharp end of the grid.
We have now reached the half way point of the championship were we traditionally break for the summer and return for racing at Snetterton in Norfolk on the weekend of the 29th and 30th July for rounds 16, 17 and 19.
Josh Price "It just wasn't our weekend in terms of results. Our pace though was must improved and a huge improvement, we made a big step up with race and qualifying pace. Huge thanks to Subaru Team BMR for a fast car all weekend."