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Frustrating weekend for George Gamble in British Touring Car Championship at Croft Race Circuit



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It was a frustrating race weekend for George Gamble in the latest round of the British Touring Car Championship at Croft Race Circuit, writes Paul Horton.

Gamble arrived at the North Yorkshire circuit with team-mate Adam Morgan and the team were in a confident mood.

Croft is normally regarded as a rear-wheel drive circuit and that would play to the strengths of their Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport team BMW 330 e M Sports.

Leader of the pack - Gamble in action at Croft, Image by Paul Horton Motorsport Photography (57622077)
Leader of the pack - Gamble in action at Croft, Image by Paul Horton Motorsport Photography (57622077)

Epperstone’s Gamble hadn’t raced at the circuit since his Porsche Carrera GB Cup days in 2019.

Both Gamble and Morgan had two productive free practice sessions on Saturday with Gamble getting his fastest lap just over halfway through the session, topping speeds of more than 107.5mph.

Gamble clocked up 20 laps on track, taking his fastest time on lap 19 with a time of 1-21-960 ­— only 0.371 seconds off Gordon Shedden’s Honda Civic Type R in the number one slot.

Gamble lifts a wheel at the Chicane at Croft image by Paul Horton Motorsport Photography (57622252)
Gamble lifts a wheel at the Chicane at Croft image by Paul Horton Motorsport Photography (57622252)

In qualifying, the pair were ready to shoot for the front of the grid. However, five minutes in there was drama when Adam slid his BMW off into the gravel, stopping the session. His car beached at turn one and the safety car was deployed.

Two minutes into the restarted session and Gamble was on it before the red flags were out again as Dexter Patterson hit the tyre wall and retired his Infiniti Q50.

When the session again restarted Gamble struggled to get some heat to the front tyres. He gave it his all, putting the car into ninth spot ­— only for another red flag appearing 46 seconds before end of the session, ending qualifying.

Gamble races forward, image by Paul Horton Motorsport Photography (57622423)
Gamble races forward, image by Paul Horton Motorsport Photography (57622423)

Blustery conditions for race day saw Gamble in ninth place with Morgan lining up in 17th place for the first of the three outings for the day.

As the lights went out Gamble retained his start position, but it was a different affair for Morgan.

Jason Plato’s Honda Civic tried a pass at the Jim Clark Esses and turned Adam sideways, putting him at the back of the pack.

George did a great job of hanging on to ninth place at the flag, fending off any opposition. On lap eight he took fastest on track with a time of 1-22-702.

The second 15-lap race saw Gamble start in ninth and Morgan 19th on the grid.

Adam battled his way up from 19th on the grid to finish 15th, just inside the points.

Gamble retained his ninth spot for the first eight laps but on lap nine the car started to misfire, which saw him drop to 22nd.

A lap later he was in the pits. After a short investigation, and three laps later, Gamble rejoined the race in 26th at the back of the pack.

Gamble retired the car two laps from the finish after suffering a throttle body failing, meaning his engine started to misfire and then stopped.

Retirement meant he started at the back of the grid for race three.

While team-mate Morgan finished tenth, it was a hard slog for Gamble, who managed to get the BMW back into 19th spot to cross the line.

A disappointed Gamble said: “I’d been looking for a good result in race three, running in the top group and then trying to benefit on the reverse grid draw, but it wasn’t to be.

“My pace was really strong before the gremlins struck so that is something positive to take away from the weekend at least. Hopefully this is the end of the bad luck for us and we can get back to where we belong.”

They are next in action at Knockhill on July 30-31.



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