Nash’s hopes dented
Team Aon Ford Focus driver James Nash will start both of Sunday’s World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) races on the Slovakiaring circuit, near Bratislava from 14th on the grid. The 26 year-old from Milton Keynes, England had qualified 4th just 0.327s adrift of the pole position time set by Hungarian Norbert Michelisz driving a BMW, but his car failed a post-session ride height check and the Race Stewards imposed a ten-place grid penalty.
A broken part caused the car to fail on just one corner and it would not have made a difference to the performance. The cause of the breakage is still being investigated.
Prior to the penalty being imposed Nash’s 4th place was both his and the team’s best qualifying performance of the season and Ford’s best-ever qualifying result in the modern history of the WTCC.
James Nash: “Now we’re starting 14th getting something out of the races is going to be very difficult. The only good news to come out of my penalty is that my team-mate Tom Chilton who had initially qualified 11th will now start the top ten reverse grid race two from pole.”
“Before the penalty the day had been good. I was in the top three in both Free Practice sessions this morning. I felt that with the brand new suspension fitted to the car and running on a track that is new for everybody, where nobody has previous year’s data to guide them on set-up, that for the first time this season we were all competing on level terms.”
“I had been hoping for a podium here but now as I say getting something out of the races will be very difficult. Still, I’ll be trying my very best as always though my primary aim now will be two top ten finishes and some Championship points.”