Doyle achieves Maiden points
In-Tune Racing’s Michael Doyle opened his HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship Independents Trophy points account at Donington Park National Circuit yesterday, Sunday, 4th May, during round seven of the season – the highlight of an otherwise trying weekend for the young Scottish racer.After suffering a recurrence of the gearbox problems which have dogged his maiden BTCC campaign during Free Practice on Saturday morning, the 20-year-old touring car rookie was forced to miss the second session but did make it out for qualifying where he posted the 23rd fastest time in his Honda Civic.It wasn’t a trouble-free session by any means, a coming together with John George following a spin at the Old Hairpin limiting Michael’s running to just seven laps.Racing strongly during the first of Sunday’s races, the ELF Renault Clio Cup race winner secured an overall result of 15th position and was therefore the 10th placed Independents runner to take his first point of the championship. The finish was an achievement in itself as opening lap contact made his car a handful to drive for the remainder of the race.Compounded by a break to his gear linkage and a loss of pressure in the clutch, Michael worked wonders to bring the car home in the Independents Points.The BTCC newcomer, who lives in Gartocharn on the banks of Loch Lomond and away from the track works for his family’s Glasgow based In-Tune Garage Services business, hoped for more from round eight where he would start 15th on the grid but his race ended almost before it began when his engine developed a problem on the start line.It also meant he wouldn’t be able to contest the third of the day’s races so all in all it was a very trying weekend for the young Scotsman. Now, he is focusing on the race meeting perhaps furthest from home – the fourth event of the year at Thruxton in Hampshire which takes place a fortnight from now.“It’s been a really disappointing weekend”, said Michael, “We’ve had a lot of problems with the car and to be honest I don’t know how we managed to come home in the points in the first race. We’ll stay positive though, as soon as these niggles are sorted out I’m confident we’ll be able to move up the grid and challenge for some good results.“Thruxton is next on the calendar in a couple of weeks, you definitely need a strong engine there so hopefully we’ll have everything sorted out and be able to show what we can do. I still feel optimistic and I’m looking forward to it.”Highlights of Sunday’s action from Donington Park will be screened on the UK’s number one commercial television channel, ITV1, late tonight, Monday, 5th May, at 01.25. Further screenings will be shown on Freeview, digital satellite and cable station ITV4 and satellite and cable channel Men & Motors – please check listings for more details. Rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the 2008 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship will take place on 17th/18th May, at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire.