Problem after problem for McMillan in British Touring Car Championship debut
ONE mechanical problem after another blighted Wisbech teenager Liam McMillan s debut in the British Touring Car Championship yesterday (Sunday). After a smooth pre-season testing programme, the 19 year old s team had to replace the engine, gearbox differe
ONE mechanical problem after another blighted Wisbech teenager Liam McMillan's debut in the British Touring Car Championship yesterday (Sunday).
After a smooth pre-season testing programme, the 19 year old's team had to replace the engine, gearbox differential, drive shafts and steering on his Seat Toledo at Brands Hatch.
McMillan said: "It's not been our day; we've been really unlucky and had one problem after another.
"We've never had these problems before in testing, so for them to happen on race day is really annoying."
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McMillan was forced into an engine change in the first practice session after his car lost oil pressure. Following the setback, he qualified in 17th place for the first of the weekend's three races.
By the end of his first competitive lap in the BTCC, McMillan gained two places and was chasing former winner Tom Chilton when the safety car came out. After the safety car period, McMillan overtook the Ford driver.
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However, a pre-race set up change saw McMillan's car develop understeer through the race and he dropped two places running on to the grass in Clearways. He eventually finished 14th.
McMillan made a bad start to race two from 14th on the grid, and was last into Paddock Hill bend.
He was catching the cars in front when a power steering pipe broke. The fluid caught fire beneath the engine in the pit lane.
McMillan was back out on the grid for race three, starting from 19th, but the Toledo broke a driveshaft at mid-race distance.
McMillan said: "I felt I drove well and I tried to drive through all the mechanical problems we've had, but they've overtaken us.
"We've got one of the oldest cars on the grid, but we've learnt a lot. The plan now is to get the car back to the workshop, sort these problems out and come back fighting at Thruxton.
"The racing is so close in the BTCC that we were expecting to pick up a bit of panel damage. We have spare panels in the truck and we haven't touched them all weekend - instead we've replaced the engine, gearbox, differential, driveshaft and steering.
"My first BTCC race weekend has been a great experience. I felt at home out there on the track with the top drivers and I'm looking forward to having a good car underneath me.
"Once the car is working well, I definitely think good results are just around the corner.