Airwaves BMW - Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship - Knockhill Qualifying Steven Kane will start the first of tomorrow's three races in fifth position in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, after a cracking last few laps saw...
Airwaves BMW - Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship - Knockhill Qualifying
Steven Kane will start the first of tomorrow's three races in fifth position in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, after a cracking last few laps saw the Ulsterman stake his claim as a true title contender, finishing ahead of both the LPG turbo Fords in today's qualifying session at Scotland's Knockhill Racing Circuit.
Highlighting the competitive nature of the UK's most celebrated racing series, under half a second separated the top ten drivers (0.457) with MacDowall topping the timesheet with a time of 53.001, well inside Darren Turner's 2007 lap record and just 0.07 seconds ahead of home favourite Gordon Shedden.
Mat Jackson, who's been plagued by bad luck this season, was again struck down, this time by a sudden driveshaft failure that put an end to his qualifying session after ten laps.
Despite recording a fifth place finish and beating all the other BMWs on track in the morning's earlier Free Practice session, Jackson, currently third in the Independents championship, was on a hot lap that would have seen him finish in sixth position, until it didn't...
Jackson will now begin the first of tomorrow's races from 12th place, wedged between the Vectras of James Nash and David Pinkney. His Airwaves BMW racecar is currently being rebuilt and he is quietly confident that his bad luck is behind him, explaining ' if it was going to happen, then I'm glad it happened today and not tomorrow'. His times have already proved he has the pace to make a significant impact in all three of tomorrow's rounds.
The silver lining today was yet another fine performance by Kane, who finished in fifth, just losing out on fourth spot after Plato sneaked in with seconds to spare. With a time of 53.160 Kane felt he had a little more to give and was hampered after being held up by Andy Neate's off track excursions as well as running a set of tyres that were well past their best. After Airwaves BMW's earlier qualifying trials and tribulations, the team are elated Kane will start right up in the thick of the action, and some four places ahead of Rob Collard's WSR BMW.
Honda Racing's Gordon Shedden, who led Free Practice 1, Free Practice 2 and qualifying until the penultimate lap, must be feeling slightly aggrieved; from the outset he called the shots today, romping home ahead of his competitors by 0.131 and 0.212 in both earlier practice sessions. On the penultimate lap of qualifying today he was pipped at the post by the Chevrolet of Andy MacDowall claiming he was 'held up by slower drivers', much to the horror of the local crowds and the man himself.
ITV4's live coverage from Silverstone is scheduled between 11.00am-6.00pm on Sunday 5th September. Driver and team details, as well as the season schedule, can be found on www.btcc.net
Scotland's Knockhill circuit is a venue all the BTCC drivers love, and with Kane and Jackson going well in qualifying, tomorrow should see some top results for the Airwaves BMW team
Airwaves BMW Team driver Steven Kane said:
"It was a mega day but I've still got more to come. I really believe I had an opportunity to get pole here today but Andy (Neate) going off and the red flag meant I couldn't get a proper run on my tyres when I would have got my best times. When I could go for it they had let go a little, but a fifth place qualifying spot with our race pace is very positive for all the team and me. If we kick up a gear tomorrow we'll be in with a shot at the trophies, the BMW has the handling and grip to do very well."
Airwaves BMW Team driver Mat Jackson said:
"Again the car was good and I was going well so it's a shame we had a major failure - especially as it was such a freak occurrence, but Knockhill is a tough circuit on all the cars. The car felt strong in the morning, it's definitely good for a lot better times, Steven proved that. Now my bad luck is behind me and the pace is definitely there we can make an impact tomorrow.
Airwaves BMW Team Manager Oliver Collins said:
"I'm delighted with P.5 for Steven. He drove really well and could have gone quicker. I'm gutted for Mat as he was on a really quick lap when he suffered a freak drive shaft failure. It's all being fixed and the team are confident that Mat and Steven will both do well tomorrow, as their times at certain points have proven."
-source: airwaves bmw