Despite carrying near maximum ballast, the Pirtek Racing driver Andrew Jordan who the second year running has taken pole position at Thruxton. Round 7 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship qualifying ended with Jordan leading a Honda 1,2 3.
Jordan produced a stunning last minute lap to leap frog the two works Honda Yuasa Racing cars of Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal who finished 2nd and 3rd to claim his 4th career pole position. The two Honda teams were the only teams to test at the circuit back in February and that could have made the vital difference as they locked out the top 3 positions on the grid to lead the two MG KX Momentum Racing MG 6’s of Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff who will start 4th and 5th.
Jordan spoke earlier in the week about just how much he liked the Hampshire circuit as he continues his superb early season form, which see’s him currently sit second in the championship just 5 points off of top spot. After qualifying a delighted Jordan said, “The car was fantastic and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I was relaxed after the win at Donington and I love it here too. I was really hanging on during the lap but it was a lot of fun.”
Plato admitted after qualifying that work was still required with his MG although admitted that the ballast did play its part and said, “We’re still not quite there with the car but to set that time with maximum weight on board was a decent effort,”
Proving just how good the Honda’s were was Jeff Smith in the second Pirtek Racing Honda Civic as he qualified a personal best in 6th place despite ending the session off track after losing control after running wide around Church, the fastest corner in the country.
Putting in a stunning effort to qualify in 7th was Tom Onslow-Cole in the Team Hard PPCGB.COM Kraftwerk Racing VW Passat. After only getting the car just over an hour before the first Practice session of the year at Brands Hatch Onslow-Cole has been really getting to grips with the Passat which included finishing a fine 6th last time out at Donington albeit with a little help from the reverse grids.
Now for the first time the Passat has run constantly inside the top 10 all day with the 7 time winner delighted the progress which is being made although admitted it could have been more and said, “It’s going really well and the progress of the car has been fantastic. I made a few mistakes on the lap and should have been a bit faster, but it’s a great place to start from tomorrow,”
Lining up 8th will be the first of the Toyota’s with Frank Wrathall in his Dynojet prepared Avensis finishing just ahead of fellow Toyota driver Dave Newsham in the Speedworks Avensis after he put in a late lap to get inside the top 10.
Rounding off the top 10 will be the first of the West Surrey Racing, eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport’s belonging to race 3 winner from Donington Colin Turkington. Once again the 2009 BTCC champion was the sole BMW driver to make the top 10 while local drivers Rob Collard and Nick Foster continuing to struggle as they finished the session all the way back in 16th and 17th.
Also continuing to struggle were the two Airwaves Racing Ford Focus’ of Aron Smith and Mat Jackson. Much was expected of the pair for 2013 but as of yet they have failed to make the top 10 so far this season in qualifying and once again were outside the top 10 in 12th and 13th respectively.
While towards the rear of the grid for the cars competing in the Jack Sears Trophy it was race 3 winner from the category last time out at Donington, Joe Girling in his M247 Racing with Techspeed Chevrolet Cruze who managed to put in a great last lap effort to lead the class for the older Spec S2000 cars.