Nationwide Accident Repair Services-backed driver Dino Zamparelli experienced a torrid weekend at Oulton Park in Cheshire but managed to salvage some points as the championship heads into its mid-season break.
The Bristolian qualified well to secure a front row start for race one with a car that was very much to his liking. Alas, the enthusiasm would last less than a lap when leader Tom Wrigley dislodged a plastic bollard which then speared through the radiator of Dino’s car. He put in a heroic effort to maintain second place, despite coolant leaking onto his tyres but was forced to retire with five laps to go.
As a result of the retirement, Dino was relegated to the back of the grid for Sunday’s race two. Notwithstanding being hit into the opening corner by a slower car, causing a trip across the grass, Dino was able to race through the pack to finish tenth and claim two championship points. His battling spirit was cheered on by over 500 Nationwiders and family members in the Cheshire sun.
Nationwide believes that getting it right the first time, every time, is one shared with the Nationwide-backed Redline Racing team. The company is continuously looking for improvements in the development of its people through training and progression, which is a belief shared by Dino Zamparelli as he and his team strive for improvements race-on-race.
“It was a good start to the weekend,” said Dino. “We were second overall in qualifying and looking forward to a good weekend. We had a bollard kick up and pierce the radiator and then we had to retire from race one, which meant we had to start race two from the back of the grid. I got taken out at the start but clawed my way back up to tenth and two championship points.
“I think we were really unlucky and it feels a bit harsh when we did all the hard work getting up to second to have bollard force us into retirement. That’s life, that’s racing. Let’s hope that isn’t the story of the rest of the year and we start fresh at Snetterton. All the hard work we did at the beginning of the year to build a gap has been taken away in one weekend. That’s the way it goes but I’m with the best team on the grid and we’ll fight back.”
At the halfway point in the championship Dino is second in the standings, just six points off the lead but with dropped scores taken into account the gap is reduced to one point. It will be all to play for when the second half of the season kicks off on the July 28/29 at Snetterton for rounds seven and eight.
Fellow Nationwide ambassador Dan Cammish also experienced a trying weekend in his BTCC Honda with a 12th place finishing proving the highlight. Dan applied his usual analytical approach and acknowledged that it was all part of the process in his rookie season and that there is still plenty to learn.
“It was always going to be tough coming here, the first time at a track where I’ve not had the chance to test. I did the best job I thought I could in qualifying and it’s highlighted a few little issues in myself and my mentality, in the way I’m approaching it. Matt [Neal] has a habit of getting the car where it needs to be for qualifying and he pips me at the post, whereas my car tends to be the same from start to finish. We’ll work on that and I’ll improve. It was a tough weekend but that’s touring cars. It’s so close. If you don’t qualify well, you’re in real trouble. It’s exactly what I expected.”