The Local hero has certainly used his local knowledge to his advantage as he topped both sessions at a dry overcast circuit.
In the first session team mate Neal was just 0.005 seconds behind him with Mat Jackson taking third in only the second meeting for the returning Motorbase Focus. Adam Morgan was flying in fourth as was Sam Tordoff in fifth, the two taking off at the Chicane along with many of the other runners. Tordoff was the first of the RWD cars despite several drivers saying they would have an advantage. Andrew Jordan was another chicane leaper taking sixth in the works MG with team mate Goff only in sixteenth. Andy Priaulx was seventh in the second of the WSR BMW’s with Rob Collard just behind in the third. Rob Austin was ninth in the Exocet Audi beating team mate Hunter Abbott who was only in twenty second despite cleariy pushing hard in his Audi A4.
Abbott was originally due to miss the race as his wife is having their first baby and it’s due this weekend but he had a change of heart hoping the baby will wait until after the weekend to arrive.
Aiden Moffat, another Scottish driver rounded out the top ten in his laser Tools Mercedes with AMD Tuning’s Mike Bushell taking eleventh, narrowly missing out on a top ten slot but still very pleased.
The Ballast laiden BMR team found themselves in twelfth, thirteenth, seventeenth and eighthteenth for Smith, Plato Turkington and Scott respectively.
In the second session, it was the non works Eurotech Honda Civic who found himself in second despite a red flag causing off early in the session. Fortunately no damage was done and he was able to rejoin later. Sam Tordoff flew to third, the WSR BMW driver had all four wheels in the air at the chicane on his way to set the time. Mat Jackson kept up Motorbases new found pace (on his car at least) with fourth. Andy Priaulx was fifth with Andrew Jordan sixth. Rob Collard was seventh ahead of Adam Morgan in eighth. Plato became the first BMR car in the top ten this weekend with ninth with Tom Ingram rounding out the second top ten of the day.
In other news since Snetterton Welch Motorsport lost their second TBL with the withdrawl f their second car from Knockhill. This means the team will only be able to run one car for the rest of the season. Twenty nine cars are competing this weekend with Nicolas Hamilton not running his guest entry for this round. He is only doing five rounds this season and isn’t eligible for points. It was always part of his plan to miss this round.
Qualifying takes place at 15:05. By Marc Waller