An eventful first qualifying session ended in delight for Eurotech’s Andrew Jordan as he beat Gordon Shedden to pole position in jubilant fashion.
The session was effectively decided after 15 minutes with heavy snow intervening to saturate the circuit and prevent any more dry running. But the first qualifying session of 2013 was brought to a dramatic halt after just 2 minutes when Colin Turkington dramatically spun out of Druids and came to rest facing the field. David Nye spun out of his way unharmed, but Jack Goff couldn’t avoid his car and hit the BMW head on, effectively ending both drivers session instantly. On his return Turkington took full responsibility.
“Coming out of Druids, the back end just snapped away from me,” said Turkington. “Maybe the yellow flag didn’t come out in time, but the field were still flat out of Druids and someone ran into the front of my car. That’s us finished for today, but the car has good potential. Its just a shame the season has to start this way.”
Jack Goff was unable to avoid the contact. “I was basically blind coming round Druids, Turkington was already the wrong way and Griffin was spinning to the right, so it was either hit Griffin or hit Turkington. The car is a mess, but I have faith in the team. They can fix anything, they’re starting to get used to it!”
Jason Plato traded times with the front-runners and ended the session third fastest, with former triple champion Matt Neal in fourth for Honda. Plato’s MG team-mate Sam Tordoff qualified in fifth on his first-ever BTCC race weekend.
Frank Wrathall had been in the top six, until his Toyota failed the random ride height check, which means that Wrathall will start at the back of the grid, along with Turkington and Goff provided their cars are repaired in time.
Wrathall’s loss of times late in the session meant that he was unable to post a quick lap with only ten minutes remaining. His demotion promoted Dave Newsham to sixth, ahead of Rob Austin, Jeff Smith, Nick Foster and Adam Morgan. Notably Foster ended the session as the top WSR driver on the debut of their new NGTC 1-series, with Rob Collard only able to manage 13th.
Several drivers found themselves exploring the track limits, with Jeff Smith, Nick Foster, Matt Neal and Colin Turkington all suffering spins early on in the cold session.
Aside from WSR’s new BMW 1-series, the other car making its debut this weekend is Team HARD’s Volkswagen Passat CC, driven by Tom Onslow-Cole. After completing a shakedown run earlier in the day, Onslow-Cole qualified the car a respectable 17th.