Reigning champions VX Racing have qualified all three cars in the top 11 for today’s round 25 of the 2008 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Silverstone.
Tom Onslow-Cole was the fastest VX Racing driver in qualifying, and will start from fourth position on the grid after setting a time of 1:00.695.
Two-time champion Matt Neal was spectacularly fast in the morning’s free practise session setting the fastest lap time, and he continued to show the VXR Vectra’s potential in qualifying. Setting a time of 1:00.843, Matt will start from fifth on the grid tomorrow.
Defending driver’s champion Fabrizio Giovanardi drove consistently well and found some enviable speed despite carrying maximum success ballast of 45 kg and being hampered by rapidly rising temperatures which affected the track conditions. Fabrizio will start from 11th on the grid with a time of 1:01.200. Pole position was secured by SEAT’s Jason Plato, with a time of 1:00.327.
Fabrizio Giovanardi #1“I am a little frustrated that I seem to have lost some speed between the free practise session and qualifying, but with the rising temperatures I think that the changing track conditions can be my only explanation. Tomorrow I am hoping for rain! Hopefully a wet track will allow me to push right to the front of the pack.”
Matt Neal #4“I hoped for a little better from my qualifying performance, but at Silverstone there is always so much traffic and that frustrated me a little. I am definitely at the right end of the grid for tomorrow’s race though, so we shall see what happens.”
Tom Onslow-Cole #10“I had a good qualifying session today, and I’m pleased with my fourth position start. The team did an excellent job responding to the changing track conditions and I just hope to hold my place off the line tomorrow morning.”
Provisional Qualifying Results Silverstone – round 251) Jason Plato (SEAT Sport UK), 1:00.3272) Darren Turner (SEAT Sport UK), 1:00.4713) Colin Turkington (Team RAC), 1:00.6134) Tom Onslow-Cole (VX Racing), 1:00.6955) Matt Neal (VX Racing), 1:00.8436) Steven Kane (Motorbase), 1:01.0007) Stephen Jelley (Team RAC), 1:01.0078) Harry Vaulkhard (Robertshaw Racing), 1:01.03911) Fabrizio Giovanardi (VX Racing), 1:01.200
Rounds 25, 26 and 27 will be held at the Northamptonshire circuit today (Sunday), with the first race starting at 11.20. Live coverage of the racing can be seen on ITV4 on Sunday 31 August from 12.30 to 17.30.