BMWs Battle in Brands Hatch Qualifying
Airwaves BMW emerged as the leading rear-wheel-drive team in qualifying for the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch today (Saturday).
The Kent-based squad secured solid top-ten spots on the grid at its home track as Jonny Adam posted the seventh-fastest time overall and team-mate Rob Collard slotted in just behind him in eighth.
With the cool conditions on the Brands Hatch GP circuit clearly favouring front-wheel-drive machinery, Airwaves BMW had to be content with leading the charge for the famous German marque.
The only other BMW driver to make it into the top ten was championship leader Colin Turkington, who pipped his team-mate Stephen Jelley to tenth place on the grid.
However, both Airwaves BMW drivers are confident of making the consistent race pace of the 320si count when the first BTCC race kicks off tomorrow (Sunday), and will be looking to delight the fans at their local venue by chasing for silverware.
Having taken three podiums between them at Brands Hatch earlier in year, albeit on the circuit's Indy layout, Adam and Collard will be hoping to repeat that feat over the final three races of the 2009 championship.
All the action from the BTCC finale can be viewed live on ITV4 between 11.30am-6.15pm.
Airwaves BMW Team Principal David Bartrum said:
"We are delighted to be the leading BMW team in qualifying as the others were always a fair bit behind us in that session. It was a tough one though because the Chevrolets were very strong, as we expected them to be, but the Vauxhalls have also got the act together and improved a lot. Ideally I would have liked us to be in the top six but we're only just off that, and I'm sure Jonny and Rob will be able to challenge the guys in front of them from the start of race one as they both like racing here and have claimed really good results in the past. As always being the local team we are looking forward to putting on a strong showing for all our fans and leaving the final race meeting of the season on a high."
Airwaves BMW Team driver Rob Collard said:
"The track conditions didn't let us get the best out of the tyres in the early part of the session and we were having to be very aggressive to get any heat into them, that made it tough to match the pace of the front-wheel drive cars in qualifying. If the weather warms up even just a little tomorrow that could really help us, as I'm sure our race pace will be very good anyway. The car felt great and if we can get a good strong finish in race one that will really set us up for the following two and give us a chance of getting some really good results from this weekend."
Airwaves BMW Team driver Jonny Adam said:
"I'm pleased to be the top BMW driver on the grid as the other guys all have a lot more experience than me in the car. The car was really good but the low temperatures didn't do us any favours. The races should come back to us though as I think we will be able to manage out ryes better over the race distance compared to the front-wheel teams. It takes us a little time to get our tyres up to speed but if the track warms up it will play into our hands and we can be very competitive. There will be a lot of guys driving very hard out there going for the championship, but I will just be looking to drive my own race and concentrate on getting three more good finishes under my belt."
-credit: air bmw