Andrew Jordan has taken pole position in qualifying for Round 7 of the British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton, in an eventful session that saw several leading drivers experience problems.
Jordan inherited pole position half-way through the damp and drying session after early pace setter Gordon Shedden had his times disallowed. Jason Plato will start from second for Round 7 – despite suffering a high-speed off at Goodwood that caused the session to be red-flagged half-way through. Plato’s car suffered moderate damage in an incident that could have been much worse.
Honda’s Shedden had been on top of the times for the first half of the session, as he had been in both free practice sessions previously. However his times were disallowed half-way through due to exceeding the turbo boost limit and, with further disruptions late in the session, the Scot was unable to put together a fast lap and will start from 18th.
There were also problems for Matt Neal, who spun off after completing only 6 laps. The reigning champion therefore lines up in 20th for race one tomorrow.
Frank Wrathall enjoyed his strongest qualifying session of the year and will start from third. Alongside him on the second row is Mat Jackson. Behind them, David Newsham and Rob Collard qualified in fifth and sixth respectively. Newsham stopped running after nine laps, the Scot pulling into the pitlane with engine problems with his Vauxhall Vectra’s TOCA engine.
Árón Smith, who qualified seventh, was the last driver to lap within two second’s of Jordan’s time. The Irishman is joined on the fourth row of the grid by Lea Wood, who once again showed that he is a strong racer in damp conditions.
Taking a career-best ninth in qualifying was Liam Griffin, ensuring that all three of the Motorbase-run Ford Focus’ were inside the top ten. Tom Onslow-Cole completed the top ten with a time some 2.244 seconds off pole position.
Numerous incidents occurred during the session due to the difficult track conditions and amongst those who suffered spins and off-track excursions were Matt Neal, Jeff Smith, Tony Hughes and Andy Neate. Neate spun off the circuit in the closing minutes and was followed by Rob Austin, who went backwards into the tyre wall at Seagrave.