Airwaves Racing Silverstone qualifying report
Airwaves Racing’s Mat Jackson set the bar high during today’s free practise and qualifying sessions at a sun-drenched Silverstone circuit in preparation for the 2011 season finale of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship tomorrow (Sunday October 16).
Henley-in-Arden based Jackson set an impressive pace at his local circuit during both of today’s free practise sessions. Securing second and first place times respectively; the Airwaves Racing man clearly demonstrated that both he and the Motorbase-run team mean business this weekend.
This afternoon’s qualifying session looked to be the best yet for Jackson and the Airwaves Racing team as he worked his way up the board during the session, setting a blistering time of 59.166 seconds on his fifteenth lap, heading the session’s results and looked set to claim his first pole of the season. Unfortunately for team and driver, it was not to be as Championship leader Matt Neal stole pole position in the closing laps, beating Jackson’s time by a mere three hundredths of a second and relegating Jackson into P2 for the first of tomorrow’s races.
Team-mate Liam Griffin showed great pace throughout the session, achieving a solid eighteenth place start, whilst twice-crowned BTCC Champion James Thompson could only managed a fifteenth place finish as he settled into the Focus having tested the car for the first time earlier in the week.
The first of tomorrow’s BTCC races kicks off at 11.35am with live coverage on ITV4, itv.com from 11am – 6.30pm.
Airwaves Racing Team Manager Oly Collins said:
“A fantastic result for the whole Airwaves team, and for Mat [Jackson] who has been incredible all day. Liam [Griffin] had a really solid session and unfortunately James [Thompson] is still learning the car but I’m confident that it will all come good tomorrow. The Airwaves team have done a great job once again; here’s hoping we can go out on a high!”
Airwaves Racing driver Mat Jackson said:
“It’s a great result for the Airwaves Racing team. My last pole was here back in 2009 so it felt good to be back challenging for the lead again. All credit to the Motorbase boys, they’ve done a great job again and the car has been fast off the blocks all weekend.
“I’m not going to lie, I’m disappointed that we missed out on the pole, especially in the closing minutes, but we’ve put ourselves in the strongest position to attack the lead in tomorrow’s first race and hopefully we’ll be celebrating come the end!”
Airwaves Racing driver James Thompson said:
“Obviously I would have loved to have been further up the grid, but it’s never easy stepping straight into a new car and set up. The Airwaves team have done a great job this weekend and in an ideal world we would have had more time in the car to settle in.
“I’m really looking forward to tomorrow, it’s nice to come back and be involved in the BTCC again and what better weekend than the season finale at Silverstone?”
Airwaves Racing driver Liam Griffin said:
“It’ nice to come back to a circuit that I know and I’m really pleased to qualify amongst the field I did and only two tenths behind two-times BTCC Champion James Thompson! I’m delighted for Mat [Jackson] to be at the front of the grid, he’s in a great position and it’s a well-deserved result for him and the team.”