Daryl DeLeon Racing

Positive start for Daryl DeLeon at '24 BTCC opener at Donington Park

Starting the 2024 season on a high note, Daryl DeLeon delivered a pair of point-scoring finishes when the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) staged its curtain raiser at Donington Park. Unlimited Motorsport had to pull an all-nighter on Friday evening to get the #18 Duckhams Cupra León running in time for the race weekend, which as it turned out, was all worth the effort.

FP1 on Saturday was Daryl’s very first time to drive the car on track, making it an extended test session for both him and the team. 30 mins was all they had to sort out a long to-do list, explaining why he ended up at the tail end of the time sheets. Although there were still a few technical gremlins left during FP2, finishing 14th fastest was already a small triumph for the squad and looked good for Qualifying.

A new ‘Quick 6’ format saw the Filipino driver out-qualify some of the big names on the BTCC grid after he set the 3rd fastest time in QTT1. QTT2, however, was a bit trickier. The session was red flagged halfway through with Daryl unable to set a time. And by the time action resumed, he only had a 3 min window to complete a flying lap where he successfully laid down a time good enough for P9 on the grid.

A heavy downpour greeted BTCC on Sunday morning, which delayed the start of Race 1. The field was eventually sent off once the track dried up enough, but it was only a few moments later when the Safety Car had to be called out after a car hit the barriers at speed. Lengthy track repairs meant that the race was under green for only a handful of laps after the restart, making it a sprint to the chequered flag. Daryl struggled as he was down on power and suffered from handling issues, which lost him several places. Still, finishing 13th and collecting 3 points in the process was a good way to start the new season.

Daryl’s handling and power issues returned in Race 2, preventing him from improving on his starting position. He then had to switch to survival mode for 18-laps to maintain 15th across the finish line and secure the last point-scoring position.

After making some setup changes, the #18 Cupra León had much better pace in Race 3 and gave Daryl the confidence he needed to fight at the front. However, while making his way up through the field, the rear of the car slid out on lap 3 and got beached in the gravel. A DNF wasn’t the way Daryl would have wanted to end the weekend, but Unlimited Motorsport is pleased to have achieved 2 point scoring finishes at Donington Park.

Daryl DeLeon: “Looking at all the positives, it was a really good weekend at Donington Park. Happy to get some time in the car, dial out the issues, and be comfortable. A strong start for the team and myself to finish in the points. Looking forward to Brands Hatch in 2 week’s time.”

Daryl DeLeon is supported by Unlimited Edition and Train Maintenance Services (TMS).

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