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Lea Wood fifth at Oulton Park in MSA Dunlop British Touring Car Championship
HEREFORD race ace Lea Wood pronounced himself ‘over the moon’ after the best day of the MSA Dunlop British Touring Car Championship career.
The 27-year-old equalled his best ever placing of seventh in race two of the championship’s fourth round at Oulton Park.
But then, in the afternoon’s final race, he made excellent use of a third-place position on the grid to finish in fifth, moving him up to 11th place in the overall standings.
The day had not begun all that promisingly with Wood in the Binz Racing Vauxhall Vectra starting from 14th on the grid after practice.
“With just eight minutes to go in practice, I was the fastest in sector one,” he said. “But then a couple overtook me and then more.
“I came in with a couple of minutes to go and was 12th but then two more overtook me. It was annoying to be back in 14th.”
With pole position Jason Plato failing to start because of a suspension problem, Wood was immediately up a place.
“There was carnage at the start but I managed to avoid that and finished in 10th place,” he said. “I caught two after the first bend in the second race and was up to eighth and, after being up to fifth at one point, went on to finish seventh.”
His excellent finish brought some good fortune with the reverse grid for the final race putting him third.
“It was a real buzz being third on the grid and great for everybody including our sponsors,” said Wood.
And the Hereford driver, although passed by a couple of his competitors, made sure that he held on to the advantage, with the four drivers who finished in front of him all coming from the big-budget teams.
“I have often done well at Oulton Park but I am over the moon with the way it went and it gives us so much confidence for the rest of the season,” he said.
“We were not sure what to expect really after a five-week break. A lot of the drivers had used that for testing but we were not able to so it was a question of finding our feet and seeing how things went.
“Fifth place in the British Touring Car Championship is something to be really proud of and gives me a great boost for the next three rounds at Croft on June 24.
“Everybody at BINZ racing did a fantastic job today to give me a car that was good enough to mix with the works teams of Honda and MG.”