Toyota Avensis privateer Frank Wrathall secured his best qualifying result of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season after taking third on the grid for the seventh meeting of the year at Knockhill.
Frank and the Dynojet Racing team made the trip north from Lancashire looking to build on a maiden top-10 finish during a breakthrough weekend at Snetterton last month, and were on the pace from the outset during the two free practice sessions at the Fife circuit.
With drizzle falling during the first session of the weekend, Frank was an encouraging ninth quickest and then improved in a wet second session to post the third fastest time; despite missing the first half of the session as the team carried out a turbo change on the Avensis.
Qualifying marked the first dry running of the weekend for the touring cars, although a number of incidents made for a difficult session as the red flags were displayed on no fewer than three occasions.
Despite the various stoppages disrupting proceedings, Frank was able to put his Toyota inside the top 10 until a stunning lap with just minutes remaining saw him vault up to third place behind Tom Chilton and Matt Neal. He ended the session little more than two tenths of a second from pole.
Not only did that give Frank and the Dynojet Racing team a best-ever starting slot, it also marked the highest qualifying position for a car built to the BTCC’s Next Generation Touring Car regulations, beating the seventh place Frank secured on the grid last time out at Snetterton.
“People thought we might struggle here because the circuit is so tight and twisty compared to Snetterton, which is high speed and very open,” Frank said. “However, we’ve qualified better here than we did when we were at Snetterton, which shows that the speed we displayed there wasn’t just a one-off and that we have the pace to run towards the front.
“Even though we hoped to be near the front, actually doing it is a different thing altogether and to be third on the grid is mega; it’s exceeded our expectations. The car was faultless all day and qualifying on the second row of the grid shows how good the Toyota is.”