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Race wins set Wood up for British Pickup Racing Championship challenge

Morris Lubricants Racing ambassador Lea Wood forced himself into contention for the hotly contested British Pickup Racing Championship at the weekend with his best performance of the season at Silverstone.

Wood, 31, who made his name in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship where he won the Jack Sears Trophy in 2013, moved into a challenging position in his Ford Ranger after two wins and a second in the three races. Despite having a consistent series of podium finishes, he had previously not recorded a race win this campaign.

With three meetings – Rockingham September 17-18, Pembrey October 15-16 and Brands Hatch November 5-6 – and seven races left, it’s all to play for, with Wood climbing two places to fourth, just 310 points behind leader Freddie Lee who has 2,972 points. Michael Smith is second on 2,718, Mark Willis is third on 2,704 and Wood is fourth on 2,662.

The Hereford racer had his JWT Performance team to thank for getting his Ford Ranger into the third race at Silverstone, stripping the engine down to clean oil off the clutch within 90 minutes. It was a close run thing, however, with the truck making it back onto the track with just minutes to spare.

“The team were brilliant,” said Wood. “We had to wait for the engine to cool down a bit after the second race because it was red hot. They took about 90 minutes to get the gearbox out and then clean the oil off the clutch. It just goes to show the quality that you must have to compete at the top.

“It was a fantastic weekend and it was great to record my first wins after plenty of seconds this season. I now need Freddie Lee to have a bad meeting to really close the gap. He’s been lucky so far this season by not having a bad run, but everybody tends to have one bad meeting.

“I’m definitely back in contention for the championship after last weekend. For the first meeting or two in the championship, I was getting used to the rear wheel drive and I hadn’t raced on the ‘oval’ circuit at Rockingham before. Now I have found my feet, I need to have maximum attack for the rest of the championship.”

The Ford Ranger pickup is supplied and prepared by Dave Longhurst, Wood’s engineer from the touring car championship. The sponsors are Morris Lubricants, Central Roofing, S&P Crossways Garage, Wheelheaven and Houseman Dry Lining. Taylor & Bushnell Accident Repair Specialists, Wenlock Spring, PMC Technology, Core Underfloor Heating, Nicky Grist Motorsport, P1 Racewear and John Wood Tyres.

Craig Bastable, marketing manager at Shrewsbury-based Morris Lubricants, said: “Lea had a fantastic weekend at Silverstone and is now right in contention as the season heads to its climax. There’s lots of exciting racing ahead and we’re backing Lea to pull it off. He’s a great ambassador for Morris Lubricants."

 

 

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