ASCAR: Qualifying results at Rockingham

2002 ASCAR Championship - Rounds 1 & 2 4th May 2002 Manning sets the pace after scintillating ASCAR qualifying. BAR F1 Test driver Darren Manning put his RAC Autowindscreen-sponsored ASCAR on pole position for the first round of the ASCAR...

2002 ASCAR Championship - Rounds 1 & 2
4th May 2002

Manning sets the pace after scintillating ASCAR qualifying.

BAR F1 Test driver Darren Manning put his RAC Autowindscreen-sponsored ASCAR on pole position for the first round of the ASCAR stock car series at Rockingham yesterday.

Manning beat off the challenge of former Champ Car star Nicolas Minassian, Stevie Hodgson and British Touring Car champion Jason Plato after a titanic battle during the one hour qualifying session. "It makes a change to drive a car with a permanent smile on your face," Manning said. "The car's still not 100 per cent but the race is going to be fantastic."

Less than half a second separated the top six places during the session for the Goodyear 100 at the 1.5-mile Rockingham banked oval today, with Frenchman Minassian getting to within eight thousandths of a second of Manning's time.

"It's all about which guy wants it most," said Minassian, who drives for Ray Mallock Ltd. "I'm really enjoying myself. ASCAR have done one hell of a good job to get this series up and running. I'm loving it."

Manning, who is test driver for the BAR Honda F1 team, topped the times on only his fourth lap during the first ten minutes of the session and while Frenchman Minassian, Plato and reigning ASCAR champion John Mickel piled on the pressure, the Harrogate man, who drives for the Bintcliffe Sport team, held on for the remaining 50 minutes.

Manning's team-mate Plato, who cracked his ribs during a two-seater ASCAR ride two weeks ago, proved that he is made of sterner stuff with a place on the second row of the grid.

Plato said: "In all honesty, the amount of fun I've had in this car today I don't care if I race in Touring Cars ever again. It's proper, proper fun. There's nothing like going through turn three at 175mph and keeping your foot in."

The Days of Thunder-style ASCAR curtain raiser at Rockingham starts at 12 noon tomorrow. <pre> ASCAR GOODYEAR 100 QUALIFYING TIMES

Ptn     Name                    Time            Diff
1       Darren Manning          35.430
2       Nicolas Minassian       35.438          0.008
3       Stevie Hodgson          35.703          0.273
4       Jason Plato             35.789          0.359
5       John Mickel             35.880          0.450
6       Roland Rehfeld          35.898          0.468
7       Colin White             35.918          0.488
8       Anthony Swan            35.928          0.498
9       Kelvin Burt             35.966          0.536
10      Phil Weaver             36.042          0.612
11      Paul Evans              36.317          0.887
12      Rob Speak               36.599          1.169
13      Mark Proctor            36.775          1.345
14      Lee O'Keefe             36.817          1.387
15      Toby Scheckter          37.139          1.709
16      John Steward            37.828          2.398
17      Darren Turner           39.455          4.025
18      Tom Guinchard           40.016          4.586
19      Pete Storm              No Time

NOTE - No 48 Pete STORM had to sit out the qualifying session after hitting the wall in practice and will start at the back of the grid.

-rms-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Darren Manning , Nicolas Minassian , Darren Turner , Colin White , Jason Plato , Kelvin Burt , Anthony Swan , John Mickel , Roland Rehfeld