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Bent­ley in the hands of Cal­lum Macleod was also caught in the trou­ble, and was writ­ten off as it hit the same bar­rier at al­most 170mph after Macleod was un­sighted.

While the Team Parker car was out for the week­end, TF Sport pulled off a swift re­pair of its As­ton, with seven en­gi­neers and Adam work­ing to get the car ready for qual­i­fy­ing less than six hours later. The car was com­pleted with min­utes to spare and John­ston and Adam qual­i­fied sev­enth and fin­ished in that po­si­tion in the race too to hold their points lead.

TF boss Tom Fer­rier said: “For­tu­nately the As­ton has a bolt-on bolt-off front chas­sis, so we re­moved ev­ery­thing from the chas­sis rails for­ward and mounted an en­tirely new sub­frame to which we could re­mount the en­gine, which for­tu­nately es­caped any ma­jor dam­age.

“We’re lucky the car went in head-first. It was a huge job to get it done be­fore qual­i­fy­ing but the lads put in a shift.”

Adam said: “It looked bad when the car first got back to the pits. With­out their work we’d have been out and that would have cost us the points lead.”

Macleod said he was for­tu­nate to es­cape in­jury after his hit in the Bent­ley: “I was go­ing straight, flat-out at around 170mph and then I was side­ways when I hit the oil. I hit the bar­ri­ers hard front and rear and stopped on the track just be­fore the chi­cane. The car is al­ready back with M-sport [in Cum­bria] for eval­u­a­tion. It was a mas­sive hit so thank­fully Bent­ley build these strong.”

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