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Ollie Taylor ‘plays the system’ to produce ‘near-perfect’ qualifying

Ollie Taylor was pleased to have ‘played the system’ to secure two front row starting positions for the TCR UK races at Croft, with the Pyro Motorsport driver bagging the reverse-grid pole for race two on Sunday.

Taylor put in just one flying lap on a drying circuit in qualifying, leaving it until as late as possible on slick tyres to put in a fast lap that was ultimately good enough for second, just behind Andreas Bäckman.

In doing so, Taylor’s second-fastest lap was only an out-lap and with the rules giving pole position for race two to a reversal of the top ten second-best laps, it handed him the prime position for the second race.

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Although taking the championship fight to WestCoast Racing’s Dan Lloyd is a long-shot, Taylor was pleased to have beaten his rival, who has a five-place grid penalty for race one putting him at the back, in the best possible way.

“It was completely my intention to play the system,” said a delighted Taylor to TouringCars.Net. “We need to get as far up the front as we can.

“Knowing that Dan was carrying a penalty into race one, I had assumed that he was going to do the same.

“It completely threw a cat amongst the pigeons when it was wet. The fact that it was wet but drying completely changed the dynamic. If it was wet for the whole session the strategy wasn’t going to work because the track would have evolved.

“To do it we only had one shot at a fast lap, but when the track is drying when is the right time to do your one flying lap? I hadn’t been around on slicks so I didn’t knew where to push, how much speed to carry, where to roll, so I wasn’t expecting it.

“I literally went out of the pits and didn’t know where to brake or how much speed to carry, so I kind of chanced it, but it worked really well.

“It was a great result. We played the system which was how we always intended it, but it was quite tricky because we only had one shot at a fast lap.

“It was not far short of a perfect qualifying, but for Andreas on that last lap when obviously the track was a bit drier and he was a bit more familiar. If I had another lap I definitely could have gone quicker, but that would have completely ruined the race two pole.

“We’ve given ourselves the best chance this weekend by being on the front row for both races and Dan is well back in the pack for both so let’s see what we can turn it into.”

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