Silverstone: Airwaves BMW qualifying report

In the first of today's two Free Practice sessions, Mat Jackson held his own, securing an overall 3rd place finish with a time of 1.01.128. In one of the closest fort practices this season just 0.95 seconds separated the first seventeen drivers,...

In the first of today's two Free Practice sessions, Mat Jackson held his own, securing an overall 3rd place finish with a time of 1.01.128. In one of the closest fort practices this season just 0.95 seconds separated the first seventeen drivers, with Steven Kane running a 1.01.636 to finish 13th. In usual fashion the session was led by Chilton's awkwardly fast turbo charged Ford (1.01.084) followed swiftly by Jordan's NGTC turbo specification Vauxhall Vectra (1.01.114).

FP2 was again a trouble-free affair, this time the Airwaves BMW drivers swapped places with Kane up amongst the front-runners with a 1.01.051 that left him in 7th. Once again this was enough to give the Airwaves BMW driver the fastest BMW on track, and with Jackson just 0.345 seconds behind without fresh rubber, his 12th placed Airwaves BMW had a solid foundation for qualifying. This time around the turbo charged Pirtek Vectra led the way, with Jordan echoing the success of his earlier performance with a time of 1.00.650. As ever the fascinatingly quick LPG turbo powered Focus, this time of Onslow-Cole was just .005 behind.

The serious business of qualifying however did not go to plan. After a terrific opening ten minutes, with Jackson immediately taking the top spot, a failed ride height test forced him out of the running - thanks to a damaged component hanging just a fraction too low the slate was wiped clean and all his previous efforts were in vein with just minutes of the session remaining.

Despite coming into the pits and having the problem resolved Jackson was only able to run two further 'hot laps', leaving the Warwickshire local frustrated with a best time of 1.01.191 and a 13th place finish. In the circumstances it was a respectable time.

Kane had a difficult afternoon too and managed a fastest lap of 1.01.010, enough to leave him in 11th. As further evidence that the Ford's are almost running in a different championship the pairing led the field by an insurmountable 0.695 seconds. Whatever they're drinking, well, we want some!

Although disappointed with today's outcome Jackson has a record second to none on this track, while Kane, who is not short of talent currently leads the Independent Championship- and that is no accident.

As ever Airwaves BMW will be back in fighting spirit, kicking up a gear as arguably the most talented duo of drivers on the BTCC grid aim to turn their fortunes around. With Mat hungry to add to last year's double race win and Steven back where he belongs you won't be left wanting for excitement and if you're lucky you may also catch a glimpse of the Ford's - if you're fast enough that is!

ITV4's live coverage from Silverstone is scheduled between 11.00am-6.00pm on Sunday 22th August. Driver and team details, as well as the season schedule, can be found on www.btcc.net

Mat Jackson has it all to do in tomorrow's first race after a failed ride height test put pay to any aspirations of a top-ten qualifying finish. Kane was disappointed but will be fighting tomorrow.

Airwaves BMW Team driver Steven Kane said: "For me personally it was a disappointing session. I feel I should have been a little bit quicker and obviously we're lacking the straight-line speed which cost us here and at Snetterton. This was always going to be a tough circuit for the team but it's frustrating as Silverstone is right up there as one of my favourites. I want to perform well here but tomorrow is another day and I know where we can find a little more from the car. I'm looking forward to getting a result."

Airwaves BMW Team driver Mat Jackson said: "We got the most from the car we could, just struggling again with the turbos. It will be an exciting race tomorrow but I feel some of the other cars on the grid are hiding something because the qualifying times could be from a totally different championship - on the straights they are just gone."

Airwaves BMW Team Manager Oliver Collins said: "In the end a disappointing qualifying session. We were relatively happy after this morning session and confident going in to qualifying. Unfortunately it would seem some of our competitors are able to turn the wick up and we just don't have that ability. 5th was a realistic target and we're wide of the mark but still confident of a good racecar tomorrow. I don't think we can touch the turbo cars or the Chevy's so we may need a bit of luck, or rain! "

-source: airwaves bmw

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About this article
Series BTCC
Drivers Steven Kane , Mat Jackson