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Lea Wood misses BTCC podium finish at Snetterton after gearbox fails
MECHANICAL failure deprived Hereford’s Lea Wood of a probable first podium finish in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
In the final race of the day at Snetterton in the championship’s sixth round, Wood started from pole position after being the chief beneficiary of the reverse-grid system.
Wood led the race into the fourth of the 12 laps and was still in a comfortable second place on the ninth lap when a blown gearbox forced his retirement. “A tooth came off the gear in third and when we took the gearbox apart there it was lying at the bottom,” said a dejected Wood. “It’s hard to imagine that such a small thing could cause such a problem.”
Although the day ended in disappointment, the thrill of starting from pole had been a major career highlight. It was a really strange feeling leading the field round in the lap before the start,” he said.
“We will always struggle to qualify at the front of the grid because of the resources of the other teams and that is where the reverse-grid system helps us.
“It was the first time I have been at the front of the grid and the way I broke away from the field at the start showed that we have the pace.”
Wood had already done well to qualify eighth on the grid for the first race and held on well to finish in a 10th position which was upgraded to ninth after the subsequent disqualification of final-race winner Dave Newsham.
In the second race, Wood started from ninth and held that position for a ninth-place finish to continue an impressive weekend.
Wood, who is now up to 11th in the drivers’ standings, is next in action at Knockhill in Scotland on August 26.
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