Silverstone: Team AON qualifying report

QUALIFYING ONE-TWO FOR TEAM AON AT SILVERSTONE. Tom Onslow-Cole and Tom Chilton secured Team Aon's first ever front row lock-out during qualifying for the seventh round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Silverstone ...

QUALIFYING ONE-TWO FOR TEAM AON AT SILVERSTONE.

Tom Onslow-Cole and Tom Chilton secured Team Aon's first ever front row lock-out during qualifying for the seventh round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Silverstone in Northamptonshire today -- the first all Ford front row for a decade.

The day started well for the Littlehampton based squad when Tom Chilton set the pace in the first of the mornings two practice sessions. The session started with the track slightly damp, but after a few laps the times began to tumble and Chilton moved to the top of the time sheets. At the close of the session, incredibly the top seventeen cars were separated by less than one-second, highlighting how close the BTCC series currently is.

Team Aon's morning continued smoothly in the second practice session as both cars worked through their set-up programme for the weekend. It was Onslow-Cole's turn to lead the time-sheets for the majority of the session, having set a time of 1:00:655 around Silverstone's National Circuit, he was eclipsed in the final moments of the session by Andrew Jordan's Vauxhall Vectra, thus ending the session second. Chilton finished the session forth, a mere tenth of a second shy of his team mate, having completed twenty laps during the forty minute session.

The afternoon's qualifying session started in the sunshine and the two Team Aon Ford's immediately set the pace with their first flying laps. Chilton was the first man to dip below the one minute barrier with a time of 59.881. Onslow-Cole crossed the line moments later with a lap of 59.659, a time that would not be bettered securing the twenty three year olds second pole position of the season and Team Aon's fifth of 2010.

Both cars opted to complete additional qualifying runs to try and consolidate their grid positions, with the two Chevrolet's lurking just behind, Jason Plato placed his car in fourth position for tomorrows first race, despite carrying the maximum success ballast as a result of being the championship leader.

Both drivers were delighted with the performance of their LPG-powered Ford Focus around the fast Silverstone circuit, praising their teams efforts to improve the cars cornering ability since the start of the season:

Tom Onslow-Cole (#21), BTCC Standings: 4th -- 114 points.

"I've struggled a little in qualifying so far this year, other than at Oulton Park when we managed to convert pole into a Race One win. Other than there we've made it hard for ourselves, so to be starting from the front for this one is fantastic! It's a great result for the team, our first ever one-two and it goes to show that we're now reaping the rewards from the teams hard work during the summer break."

Tom Chilton (#23), BTCC Standings: 7th -- 90 points.

"The circuit was definitely quickest in the first five minutes of the session, after that it seemed to get a little greasier. Tom and I started our first runs together and I gave him a bit of tow down the straight. I went a little bit sideways through Copse on my first run and the times are so close that that was enough. But it's great for Team Aon; our first ever quali one-two!"

Mike Earle, Team Principal: 3rd -- 193 points (Team) & 2nd -- 313 points (Constructor.)

"Our first one-two, but we aren't getting carried away, the Chevrolet's are right behind and they have a great race car, so it's not a foregone conclusion. We benefited from getting out very early in the session when the track was at its optimum and the drivers worked together slipstreaming each other. Later in the session we couldn't replicate our early pace and so it's great the guys got in those quick laps right at the start."

-source: team aon

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series BTCC
Drivers Tom Chilton , Jason Plato , Tom Onslow-Cole