Mixed fortunes in Hungary for Team Aon
It was a day of mixed fortunes for Team Aon today, as the team took part in qualifying for the fifth event of the 2012 FIA World Touring Car Championship. Following two difficult practice sessions this morning, James Nash managed to get his Ford Focus into the second qualifying session this afternoon and will line up 12th tomorrow, while Tom Chilton was disappointed to have qualified 21st following some suspension issues.
Following a chaotic outing last weekend in Slovakia, a huge amount of work was involved by the Team Aon mechanics to repair James Nash’s Focus in time for today’s track action. Thanks to some quick work and the rebuild of almost an entirely new car during set-up day in Hungary, both Team Aon cars were ready for the first session of the weekend this morning.
Taking to the Hungaroring today, Team Aon drivers Chilton and Nash were faced again with the prospect of a new track and new elements on their Ford Focus, as the team continues its development programme. This morning’s practice sessions were challenging for both drivers, with both struggling to find the pace around the twisty Hungaroring circuit.
As qualifying got underway this afternoon, both Chilton and Nash had made some, albeit different changes to their set-up. Both drivers were setting times in the mid-field half way through qualifying, but had expected to be higher up the order following promising pace in Slovakia last weekend.
As the first of two qualifying sessions entered the final minutes, Nash was 12th while Chilton was 21st. Despite several drivers improving, Nash managed to hold onto 12th, and consequently a place in the second qualifying session, consisting of the top 12 runners.
With just a few minutes respite, Nash was soon back out on track for Q2. The British racer was 11th with just a couple of minutes to go, but was bumped down to 12th at the chequered flag.
Reflecting on his session, Nash said, “Firstly the team have done an amazing job to get my car ready as it had to be re-shelled after the damage at Slovakia. They’ve basically had to build a new car in the pit garage here in Hungary and it has been completely reliable. To get through to Q2 today was an unexpected bonus and has been a great reward for the guys after all the hard work they’ve put in. But of course, we’ve still got work to do, this is a new track for the car and driver and we are still learning.”
A frustrated Chilton added, “Obviously I’m disappointed with the performance today, but I’m still smiling. It’s my first time here at the Hungaroring and I love the circuit and there’s a great atmosphere here with loads of fans, so it’s not all bad! Basically I suffered today as we’ve never run the new suspension at a track with high kerbs and we’re still having to learn a lot about the set-up. We’ve had no testing to point us in the right direction to develop the new parts. James went in a slightly different direction with his set-up and I’m pleased that worked for him. It’s given us a pointer on things to try in tomorrow’s warm-up.”