It was nearly a three way battle for pole as Rob Collard was right on the pace with his times but a track limits infringement saw his fastest times disallowed. This saw him drop to fourth. Team boss Dick Bennetts was pleased;
“I knew we’d go well here but I wasn’t expecting a one, two three. We ended up with a one, two, four but it’s a great result for the team. I think I’ll be closing my eyes at the start tomorrow though!”
The driver who took third and spoilt the WSR top three lock out was Honda works driver Gordon Shedden who had an excellent lap late in the session although he is half a second off the front row.
Team BMR’s Colin Turkington ended up fifth after setting a time that was good enough for pole early in the session.
Kieran Gallagher ran into trouble early in the session and his stranded car brought out the yellow flags stopping drivers from improving their times early in the session. This would have eneded up with a very mixed up grid but the Team Hard Toyota was moved meaning the session could continue at full speed.
Matt Neal isn’t far his Honda team mate this time in Sixth, the Honda’s look good here considering it’s a circuit that favours the BMW’s and they seem like they will at least be able to minimise the points loss from having the WSR cars at the front. Rob Austin is next up in seventh, having his best qualifying for a while and with a good start he could be a strong contender in race one tomorrow. Team mate Hunter Abbott made it to fifthteenth, quite a bit off Rob but well ahead of where he had been this morning. Hunter is usually a good racer so if he doesn’t get knocked off expect to see him catch up with team mate Rob.
Jack Goff was eighth in his MG beating Andrew Jordan his former champion team mate who could only manage tenth. Inbetween them in ninth is Adam Morgan is his Wix racing Mercedes taking a top ten spot once again. Aron Smith is eleventh in another BMR VW with team mate and championship leader Jason Plato only able to take twelfth this time, the double champion unusually off the pace.
Thirteenth was Toom Ingram, his pace was better than that but he was another driver to lose his lap times for track limits infringements. Martin Depper took fourteenth, the Eurotech driver unable to match his pace from the first session. Team mate Jeff Smith was only seventeenth.
Thew newbies battle between Hamilton and Coates was this time won by Coates. The local driver finishing 28th only a few hundredths of a second off his team mate Derek Palmer. Hamilton is twenty ninth was just the luckless Gallagher behind him who failed to set a time after his engine issues.
The championships other team that usually suffers from bad luck, Welch Motorsport had a reasonably successful session for them. Dan Welch taking twenty fourth with Andy Wilmot in twenty sixth in the second Proton.
Race one gets underway at 12pm tomorrow with a pitlane walkabout at 10:30am. Tickets are available on the gate. But if you don’t fancy watching live, (perhaps the forecast has put you off?), the full day’s races will be on ITV4 as usual. Girlracer will have reports on all three races. by Marc Waller