The summer break came to an end, when the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship rocked up at Snetterton Race Circuit.
Weeks of dry and hot weather came to an end, when the circuit enjoyed several hours of rain on Friday night and further showers on Saturday morning. The rain stopped shortly before the BTCC cars hit the track for the first time this weekend and with the sun out, the circuit wasn’t expected to remain wet for long.
With the circuit drying, Dan Lloyd completed just one lap on his wets before returning to the pits to
get the car setup for the dry and change his tyres to slicks. After a short wait, he was ready to get
back on circuit, building on his times through the session. Unfortunately, due to an alternator issue,
Dan’s running time was limited slightly and he ended the session 16th fastest with a lap time of
Chris Smiley also made a prompt change to a dry setup and slick tyres and worked hard improving
with each lap. He ended the session 2nd fastest with a lap time of 1:56.83, which was just 0.05 seconds off the fastest lap time.
“The car felt good this morning. We have a little bit more work to do for FP2 and hopefully we can get some more good laps in before qualifying.”
With the track fully dry, the #22 and #26 BTC Norlin Racing Honda Civic Type R’s took to the track.
With the team’s limited running at Snetterton, the objective for FP2 was to get a good number of laps in and work on setup for this afternoon’s qualifying sessions.
Chris completed 15 laps and finished the session 7th fastest, achieving very promising sector times, so headed into qualifying feeling positive. A couple of hours spent with the engineers looking at data,
and Chris was ready to go again.
After 15 laps, Dan finished the session 23rd and identified some key areas for the team to focus on, with regards to set up for qualifying.
15:10 was the start of the first qualifying session of the 60th Anniversary Diamond Special BTCC
Weekend. The session followed the standard format of 30 minutes running and Championship Ballast and decided the grid for he first race on Sunday.
Chris completed the session in P21, having unfortunately lost his fastest lap time due to a track limit infringement.
Dan struggled to get the feel in the car that he wanted which is an issue that he and the team have been working on. He crossed the line in P23 and was eager to get back on circuit for the Diamond Double
Diamond Double Special Qualifying
With double points on offer for Race 3 tomorrow, the second qualifying session was a hard-fought battle throughout the grid. Both Chris Smiley and Daniel Lloyd felt more comfortable in the car, with only minor adjustments needed for tomorrow!
Chris will start Race 3 in 14th whilst Dan will be close behind in 17th, leaving them both plenty of
opportunity to bag some points at the Norfolk Circuit. Race one gets underway at 11:30 live on ITV4 so make sure to tune in to an exciting day at Snetterton
Photography: Phil Laughton