It was a busy Saturday at Snetterton for BTC Norlin Racing, whom were keen to get back on the circuit after the six-week break in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
The day started with two practice sessions in the morning, building on work completed at the Snetterton Test earlier this month, FP1 saw Chris Smiley 8th and Dave Newsham 14th fastest. The second practice session of the day ended with Dave 21st and Chris 11th.
At 15:50, Official Qualifying got underway, and with the potential of rain forecast 10 minutes into the session, the team set about getting some quick laps in while it was dry. The rain never came, and the battle to qualify as best as possible continued.
Determined to get a great result in qualifying and having achieved PB’s in the first two sectors, Chris pushed to maintain momentum and as a result found himself compromised in the final sector. Despite being disappointed, Chris reflected on the result, safe in the knowledge that his FP1 time proved he had the pace to push on further up the grid.
“Whilst it is a shame that we start tomorrow from 22nd on the grid, I know that I am capable and showed this in FP1, achieving a time that would have seen me in the top 10 in qualifying. The challenge for Sunday will be to work on progressing up through the grid, so that we can get in the points and hopefully into the top 10 for the reverse grid.”
Dave Newsham also found himself frustrated with qualifying. “Our pace wasn’t really shown today unfortunately. Traffic and a power steering issue put us further down the field that we believe we should be. We have a quick car and tomorrow we should be able to work our way towards where we should be. The goal is a top 10 finish.”
Whilst it wasn’t the result that he wanted, Team Manager Bert Taylor, remains positive about tomorrow. “We had hoped to get both as qualified inside the top 15 this afternoon, as we had the pace all morning. That didn’t happen, but we will be working furiously to get the cars up the grid and will be pushing hard.”
The first race gets underway at 11:37, Dave starts from 19th on the grid, and Chris will start 22nd. All of the races will be shown live on ITV 4 from 10.45am and you can check out live timing as well at www.tsl-timing.com
Photography: Jay Adair