Racing Silverline driver Mat Jackson took pole for round 21 of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship. As predicted the Chevrolet's were the car to beat around the Silverstone National circuit and took 3 out of the first 4 top...
Racing Silverline driver Mat Jackson took pole for round 21 of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship. As predicted the Chevrolet's were the car to beat around the Silverstone National circuit and took 3 out of the first 4 top spots.
Triple podium finisher from Knockhill, Jackson was delighted with pole and admits he now feels comfortable with the car and hopes for another good set of results and said afterwards, "It's my first pole for some time, but I'm really starting to feel at one with the car now and this circuit really plays to its strengths. I'm also sure it will have great pace over a race distance so hopefully I can have three very strong races again tomorrow."
The only driver to split the Chevrolets was Airways BMW driver Rob Collard, who was pleased with second on the grid particularly after all his recent bad luck which has seen his dreams vanish. Said Collard, "I had a nightmare time at Knockhill two weeks ago and I was not a good person to be around for a few days after. This is just what I needed and with the BMW's great record off the line then maybe there's a chance of getting into the lead."
Third and fourth are the other two RML prepared Chevrolet's with James Nash making a superb comeback after missing the last round of the championship at Knockhill and indeed proving that Snetterton was no fluke; just ahead of Jason Plato who was going for a Hat-trick of poles.
Next up is championship leader Colin Turkington who was very happy with fifth due to main title challenger Fabrizio Giovanardi down in eighth. He also hopes his team mates can take points away from Giovanardi particularly Stephen Jelley who lines up alongside the Northern Irishmen on the third row. Turkington said, "I'm happy with that. Fifth and three places ahead of Fabrizio is perfect. Hopefully, my team-mates can take a few points out of him tomorrow just as his team-mates did to me at Knockhill."
Alongside Giovanardi on row 4 will be the second Airways BMW driver Jonny Adam in seventh, while Tom Chilton will be delighted with Ninth on the grid. This will be the first time the ever improving Team Aon Focus will line up inside the top 10. In fact, the Arena prepared car had been running inside the top 5 earlier in the day in the hands of both drivers as Tom Onslow-Cole returns to drive the second as he did earlier in the season at Croft. This surely means we will not see Alan Morrison again this year who drove the car earlier in the season. Although not in the top 10 Onslow-Cole will line up in 13th position still ahead of some pretty fancied runners. Rounding off the top 10 will be veteran Anthony Reid who will be racing in the BTCC for the first time since the end of 2004. Reid will be in the third WSR Team RAC BMW hoping to take some points off of the car lining up directly in front of him, Giovanardi.
Once again though the Vauxhall's struggled. Although Giovanardi made it in to the wrong end of the top 10, early season championship leader Matt Neal could only manage 11th and third Vauxhall driver Andrew Jordan had a disastrous qualifying performance way down in 16th despite not carrying any ballast. His cause was not helped in free practice 1 when he went through the gravel and had to miss the remainder of the session as a result and never recovered from that.
Twelfth might be a slightly disappointed Harry Vaulkhard, considering how well the other Chevrolets did, in his Bamboo Engineering Lacetti and another slightly disappointed diver will line up 14th behind Onslow-Cole will be the on form Paul O'Neill.
Lining up 15th alongside Jordan will be the first of the Team Dynamics Honda Civic of Dave Pinkney. Pinkney had crept into the top 10 in Free Practice 2 but was unable to reproduce it when it counted. Seventeenth will be where all the eyes will be watching this weekend Jonny Herbert who had been running inside the top 10 in Free Practice but had mechanical problems in qualifying and had to pull out causing a brief red flag and forcing him to miss most of the session. The three time formula one winner said afterwards, "It's a shame as we were up in the top ten in morning practice and getting quicker all the time. But my big strength has always been consistent fast lap times in race situations so hopefully tomorrow I can make up lots of places but this is a tough championship."
Eighteenth will be returnee Martyn Bell in his sunshine.co.uk Honda Integra after his injury he picked up while on holiday and on the final row will be Martin Johnson in his Astra Coupe just out qualifying John George in another Integra.
Sadly, Cartridge World Seat has had to pull out. As reported earlier in the year the team was struggling and as a result the team who run the Seat Clyde Valley Racing have withdrawn although the backer Cartridge World are doing all they can to get the cars out for Gordon Shedden and Adam Jones for the final two rounds.
So be sure to return after the races have finished seeing if Turkington can benefit from his higher grid position ad take a commanding lead in the championship. Or will the phenomenal Italian Giovanardi work his normal magic and come through the field and close the gap further? How will Herbert do?
Well all these questions will be answered so be sure to return for full reviews and pictures after another exciting and unpredictable 3 races at Silverstone.