DRIVER Alex Day and Swindon’s HMS Racing team experienced more Dunlop Touring Car Trophy frustration at Croft Circuit last weekend when a recurring misfire issue ended a genuine bid for podium silverware.

While qualifying did not go as well as anticipated in Yorkshire, Day went on to deliver a top-four result in race one of the weekend having run second early on following a sensational start.

In the second encounter, Day again made a superb launch in the team’s Audi A4 to rocket into second from fourth on the grid, but the car dramatically slowed before reaching the first corner and the 19-year-old driver was forced to retire soon after.

HMS team principal Simon Belcher said: “We’re all very disappointed for Alex as he was very competitive in the races.

“Unfortunately the misfire issue raised its head again, so we’ll go back to base and leave no stone unturned in trying to get to the bottom of it.

“The guys all worked incredibly hard, so to miss out on a podium was very unlucky.”

In free practice, Day lapped fourth fastest – second of the British Touring Car Championship-specification cars – with a time of 1min 24.347secs despite losing a lap time for a track limits infringement.

Qualifying a few hours later was interrupted by a red flag stoppage and, at that point, Day was sixth on the timesheets.

Improving his pace during the closing stages, HMS moved up to fifth on his penultimate lap with a time of 1:24.851 seconds to secure a spot at the head of row three of the grid for race one.

Making an electric start to the opening encounter, Day stormed through into second place and initially pulled a gap over the pack behind.

Unfortunately, dropping two wheels onto the dirt, the HMS driver lost touch with the leading Hyundai i30 of Lewis Kent.

The Audi driver then fell into the clutches of James Turkington’s SEAT before Henry Neal nipped by in his Honda Civic to leave Day in fourth at the chequered flag.

Starting race two from fourth, Day again made a great launch to leap into second but a recurrence of the misfire meant the Audi ground to a halt – a bitterly disappointing conclusion to a weekend which had promised plenty.

Day said: “With regard to the actual racing, we are very happy. I was very much on the pace.

“It’s frustrating but I’m excited for Brands Hatch. We have a few test days lined-up to try and figure out the problem with the car.

“Hopefully we’ll be up for some good races. I’m definitely eyeing up silverware.”

The Dunlop Touring Car Trophy resumes with the penultimate meeting of the season on July 2-28 at Brands Hatch.