Due to Ford’s success this year, Dan entered the weekend event with 115kg of success ballast on his car. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Wells managed to set the 6th fastest time in the first official practice, before topping the mixed condition second practice by over a second. Dan then went on to qualify 5th – and lead Ford – 9 tenths of a second from the pole position set by BTCC race winner and guest entrant Adam Morgan in his ballast-free Volkswagen on the 5.62km circuit.
In race one of the weekend, Dan immediately moved into 3rd position with a great start, but a rare mistake saw him struggle to slow his car on the dirty inside line of turn one tipping the Citroën of Alex Hui into a spin and damaging Dan’s front suspension. Pole position starter and fellow Brit Adam Morgan was penalised 10 seconds for a jump start which elevated Morgan’s VW teammate to to the win instead. Wells’ teammate Andy Yan finished in 3rd place.
With a DNF in race one of the weekend, this meant that Dan’s starting position for the second race would be decided by fan voting, as per CTCC regulation. Wells secured the most online votes which gave him ‘fan vote pole’ in 9th position. Another lightning start saw him move up to 4th position to aid his teammate and current Championship leader Rainey He into 2nd with a push down the back straight – but with no fewer than 6 ‘racing’ incidents in the race, Dan eventually crashed out on lap 3 with the VW of Jian Tingyi. This did however allow his Changan Ford teammate Martin Cao into the final podium spot and help secure valuable team and driver points for Ford.
“It’s been a bit of crazy weekend to be honest!”, commented Dan after the weekend. “We knew coming into the event that it would be a bit tough with such a heavy car, but I was super happy with my lap to get within a second of pole, and also even to top the wet/dry practice session by good margin. The team did a great job all weekend to ensure we mitigated the weight as best as we could.
“I was disappointed with my first race as it is pretty uncharacteristic of me to crash into another driver, but I can only apologise to Alex and learn from it for the future. The second race was more of a demolition derby to be honest – but this is CTCC and I will continue to push for the Drivers and Manufacturers Title for the team this season. A special mention also to my teammate Martin Cao for kindly providing taxi service for me back to the pits after the incident in the second race!”
Changan Ford currently lead the Manufacturers Championship with 218 points, with Volkswagen sitting second with 186. Dan’s teammate Rainey He leads the Drivers Championship with 88 points, with the VW of Zheng Zhen Dong in second on 75 with four rounds remaining.
Dan’s final race weekend with the team is yet to be confirmed. For more information, please visit www.dan-wells.com.