It was a very wet and windy start to the action at the Croft Circuit qualifying session, for the 5th round of the 2017 Dunlop British Touring Car Championship.
The action got underway for the first practice session of the day, both Chris and Dave enjoy driving in the wet, so they were keen to get started. The session proved positive, with Chris completing the session with the 11th fastest lap of 1:32.934 and Dave in 17th with a time of 1:33.065.
The session gave both the drivers and the team a great feel for the conditions and set about working on the setup for the second practice session of the day.
Track conditions remained tricky as the rain continued to fall. However, the session ended with Chris in 9th with a time of 1:33.321 and Dave in 12th achieving a fastest lap of 1:33.549.
With rain still falling at the North Yorkshire circuit, qualifying got underway and the team were confident that they had the cars where they needed to be. Disappointingly for the team, the session was red flagged as a result of several serious incidents on the circuit. This happened before the Chevrolet Cruzes of Chris and Dave had completed their first flying laps.
Speaking after qualifying, Team Manager Bert Taylor was understandably disappointed that the team had missed out on showing what the team had to offer.
“Our thoughts are with the drivers caught up in the accidents during qualifying and we wish them a full and speedy recovery. We had seen really positive signs from the cars all morning, and were confident that we could translate this into a good result in qualifying.
The red flag was thrown before we had a chance to show our hand, leaving us starting race 1 from the back of the grid tomorrow.”
Chris Smiley and Dave Newsham will start from 27th and 28th on the grid respectively.
Photo: Jay Adair