Nash Claims Austrian Victory for Bamboo
Bamboo’s WTCC team are counting the trophies after a victorious weekend at the Salzburgring in Austria in the latest round of the WTCC. James Nash delivered Bamboo’s first ever WTCC outright victory, a second place, an independent win and an independent second place with Alex MacDowall also claiming an Independent podium and fastest lap honours.
In what has been a somewhat controversial weekend in Austria, qualifying saw no less than 12 drivers penalised in one of the strangest qualifying sessions ever seen. Both MacDowall and Nash had great Q1 sessions, making it into Q2 where Alex was P4 and Nash P10 after some collaborative towing, as Nash went out for his flying lap he ran into a train of 10 cars crawling round the circuit all waiting for a tow behind the Chevrolet of Tom Chilton. This congestion prevented Nash and Nykjaer from putting in a flying lap and this met with the disapproval of the stewards who issued a total of €37,000 in fines and handed out over 120 places in grid penalties. After the dust had settled, Nash was P2 for Race 1 and Pole for Race 2 with MacDowall starting P12 and P7 respectively.
Race 1 saw Nash and the Chevrolet of Nykjaer charging towards the first corner for the lead, Nash slotted into second place and both Chevrolets charged ahead. MacDowall had a great start, avoiding the first corner calamity to jump to 10th. Nash pushed hard all race with several overtake attempts but with discretion being the better part of valour, he settled for a strong second and an undamaged car for Race 2. MacDowall was pressing on and within the first few laps made it to P8, then P7 overtaking James Thompson. His charge continued and with 3 laps to go was up into 5th, where he would stay for the remaining laps but also setting the fastest lap of the race.
Race 2 saw Nash start on pole and just pipped to the first corner by the Honda of Michelisz, the lead was to be short-lived however as Nash retook the lead before the end of the first lap. Nash drove a splendid race, pulling out a healthy gap and looking unthreatened until the end, even with a hard charging Muller passing swiftly through the pack. MacDowall got caught up in the first corner madness and ended up in 10th, this spurred MacDowall on and in much the same way as race 1, he pushed and pushed with some exceptional driving seeing him make it to 5th and also 3rd in the Yokohama Independent Trophy.
James Nash, “We’ve approached this weekend completely differently and it’s paid dividends. Winning a race at this level is such an exhilarating feeling and one I could get very used to! I have really enjoyed Austria and am pleased we had two good, clean races. We now need to keep the momentum in Moscow, a track where we will all have a lot to learn. “
Alex MacDowall, “It’s been a tough weekend but I’ve been pleased with my pace, fastest laps and some great charges through the field but it would have been nice to capitalise on this pace a bit more, but all in all, not a bad weekend.”
Richard Coleman, Chief Executive - Bamboo Engineering, “Claiming Bamboo’s maiden WTCC win is a great feeling, I knew this year was going to be strong and I feel this win is testament to all the hard work the team have put in. I’m proud of James, Alex and the team for their commitment and professionalism.”
The overall results are as follows, Race 1, Nash P2, MacDowall P5 (P2 and P4 in the Yokohama Independents respectively) Race 2, Nash P1, MacDowall P5 (P1 and P3 in the Yokohama Independents respectively). This leaves Nash 3rd in the drivers Championship behind Muller and Tarquini and MacDowall up to 7th, Nash is also leading the Yokohama Independent Championship and MacDowall 3rd. Bamboo Engineering have also closed the gap and remain second in the Independent Team Championship.
The next race is in Moscow on the 8th and 9th June.
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