Compared to their last outing at Silverstone, Team Aon were left languishing in qualifying at Knockhill today as they could only secure the fourth row of the grid. Tom Chilton was seventh fastest, with Tom Onslow-Cole just behind in eighth. It was a far from straightforward day for the team, who failed to set a fastest time in any of the sessions.
Tom Onslow-Cole, who is currently second overall in the driver’s championship, struggled in the opening practice session and could only managed 12th overall. An improvement in second practice moved him up to eighth, where he would also end up after qualifying, but it was clear that he wasn’t particularly happy with his car’s set-up around Knockhill.
“That’s all we had today, there are no excuses, that is as fast as we could go,” admitted Onslow-Cole. “I didn’t do as many laps as I would have liked in practice this morning and I just feel that we aren’t quite there with the set-up, perhaps we need to try something more radical for tomorrow to enable us to get up there with the front runners, it is going to be a long night with the engineers!”
Tom Chilton has a lot more work to do this weekend if he wants to remain in with a chance of the championship. Currently 5th in the standings, some 44 points adrift of leader Jason Plato, Chilton was second quickest in the opening practice before dropping to sixth in second practice and seventh in qualifying. This weekend he decided it was his turn to point the finger at the faster car.
“Qualifying really hasn’t gone as well as planned, but that is partly because everyone is so close, I’m seventh but under two-tenths of a second from pole!” said Chilton late in the afternoon. “Everyone else has done a really good job and that’s why we are all so close, although I’m a little surprised to see Jason (Plato) so fast seeing as he has maximum success ballast on the car and he’s done that sort of time, imagine if he had no weight in!”
Mike Earle summed up the team’s qualifying performance by adding: “We are slightly disappointed with seventh and eighth in qualifying, but tomorrow is another day. Sunday’s three races are going to be a very important for the championship and I remain confident that we will be able to score some strong finishes. It is vital that both of our drivers stay focused, keep out of trouble and bring home as many points as possible.”