MOTOR SPORT: A SHAVINGTON businessman and racing driver has put his season back on track after a late start caused by engine problems.
John Parton, director of ABP Motorsport, had to miss the first rounds of the Northern Saloons Championship when engine parts for his Honda Integra promised by an American supplier were late being delivered.
Worse was to come as, when they did arrive and were installed, the engine proved to be less powerful than before. Undaunted, Parton and his team stripped down and rebuilt the engine to its 280bhp specification of last year.
Parton has since raced at Knock-hill in Scotland where, despite it being several months since he last drove the car, he qualified fourth and finished third in the first event before going one better in the second after a close scrap.
Then, on his home circuit of Oulton Park earlier this month, he was placed sixth on the grid and after another hard-fought race which saw positions change every lap, he finished sixth.
Parton said: 'It was terribly frustrating missing the early-season races because of the engine situation. I had tracked down a supplier for some parts but when they eventually arrived and we'd built up the engine, it gave less power than I raced with before so I decided to revert to last year's specification on the grounds that even if I wasn't on the podium, at least I would be out competing.
'But actually, the first few races have gone well. I think I was quick at Croft partly because there was so much pent-up frustration finally being released.
'I've had some very close dices which is what I really enjoy and the one at Oulton was great, especially at my home track. Even though I lost a place on the final corner, I still enjoyed the racing.'
Parton and the ABP Motorsport team will be competing in the rest of the season as they bid to make up for lost time.