The Cobra Sport sponsored AmDTuning.com BTCC team were left to rue a mistake in qualifying following a challenging race day as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship made the annual trip up to Knockhill for the seventh round of the year.
The team travelled to Scotland with hopes of bouncing back from an action packed race weekend at Snetterton, where Ollie became involved in two large scale accidents in races 2 and 3. A mammoth effort from the team back at base meant the Audi S3 was fully rebuilt in time for the race weekend at Knockhill, which began well with the Audi S3 showing good pace in practice. However, Ollie's hopes of converting the speed into a high grid position were ended by a trip into the gravel at the Arnold Clark Chicane. Unable to get out of the gravel and regain entry to the track, Ollie found himself down in last place on the extended grid starting right on the exit of Taylor's hairpin.
With overtaking incredibly difficult around the tight and twisty Knockhill circuit, Ollie worked his way forwards from 31st on the grid to take the flag in 23rd place and was hopeful of building on that in race two before being forced to retire when exhaust gases started to enter the cockpit. Overcome by fumes, Ollie was forced to retire the car on safety grounds, leaving him to again start from the back with the plan to make his way through the field in race 3.
With the issue fixed for race three and a series of revisions made to the car, the Audi was at its most competitive and, avoiding some chaos around him, Ollie fought his way forwards into the top 20 but was left to wonder what might have been after missing out on a potential points finish.
“I have to hold my hands up in qualifying as I made a stupid mistake and have been kicking myself for it ever since", he said.
“I've never gone off in qualifying before but I was just pushing too hard on cold tyres, and I felt so bad for the team after the work they had put in in recent weeks.
Ultimately, that played a big part in how race day panned out and having made up places in race one, I was hoping to do the same in race two until I was forced to retire. Unfortunately it meant we were too far back to really make the most of the improvements we found for race three, when the car was at its best and we had some good pace.
That's reflected in the fact that we came from the back to finish inside the top 20 but unfortunately, it's a weekend where we've not been able to secure the end result we deserved."
Team boss Shaun Hollamby was also left disappointed with the end result and said he was hopeful of an upturn in fortune in the remaining rounds of the season.
“Unfortunately we were out of luck again this weekend and it's the second meeting in a row where we have failed to score when we could have done", he said.
“Sadly, this is one of those circuits where it is difficult when you find yourself at the back of the grid and while Ollie has shown the pace in the car to come through the grid more than once, we've come away empty handed.
Without doubt, we have a package that is better than our points tally suggests, and hopefully we can put that right in the events that are still to come."
The Cobra Sport team are looking forward to attending the next round at Rockingham in two weeks time where the AmD Tuning team will look to make the most of the remainder of the BTCC season.