Jordan takes pole as mixed conditions make for a dramatic BTCC qualifying session at Thruxton
|By Kevin Turner||Saturday, April 28th 2012, 15:32 GMT|
Andrew Jordan will start on pole for the first British Touring Car race at Thruxton this weekend after a dramatic qualifying.
The session started damp but with no rain, so there was a mix of slicks-wets, all-slicks, and all-wets tyre choices made by the teams and drivers. Although the wets-shod Honda of Matt Neal initially set the pace, it soon became clear that slick tyres were going to be needed for pole.
After Mat Jackson and Rob Collard both had provisional pole times disallowed for exceeding the track limits, Tom Onslow-Cole's WSR BMW moved to top spot on slicks.
As others switched to slicks the times kept falling, Jason Plato (works MG6) being the first driver under 1m19s and 1m18s, only to have his provisional pole effort of 1m17.741s taken away due to exceeding track limits. The order changed constantly as some drivers improved and others had times scrubbed.
Gordon Shedden went to the top of the times with a 1m16.894s lap just before Plato crashed at Church and brought out the red flags.
Before the restart, the timesheets were changed again, with Shedden losing all his times thanks to overboosting problems. That left the Eurotech Civic of Andrew Jordan on pole before the restart with a 1m17.389s.
Only Shedden looked likely to challenge Jordan's position, but an off at Allard and a red flag due to crashes by Andy Neate and Rob Austin curtailed his challenge.
Indeed, it was Jordan who managed to improve just before the final stoppage. His 1m16.983s left him 0.8s clear of Plato's effort, which became enough for the front row after Shedden's problems.
Frank Wrathall ended up third in his Dynojet Toyota Avensis, from Jackson and Dave Newsham's ES Racing Vauxhall Vectra.
Collard was one of the few frontrunners to improve late on to move into sixth, ahead of Aron Smith's Motorbase Ford and Lea Wood (Vectra).
Liam Griffin's fine effort meant the three Motorbase Fords were in the top nine. Onslow-Cole ended up 10th.
After his problems, Shedden was 18th, while Neal was only 20th thanks to crashing shortly after switching to slicks.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Honda 1m16.983s 2. Jason Plato Triple 8 MG 1m17.807s + 0.824s 3. Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota 1m18.002s + 1.019s 4. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 1m18.451s + 1.468s 5. Dave Newsham ES Vauxhall 1m18.578s + 1.595s 6. Rob Collard WSR BMW 1m18.626s + 1.643s 7. Aron Smith Motorbase Ford 1m18.871s + 1.888s 8. Lea Wood Wood Vauxhall 1m18.999s + 2.016s 9. Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford 1m19.151s + 2.168s 10. Tom Onslow-Cole WSR BMW 1m19.227s + 2.244s 11. Nick Foster WSR BMW 1m19.416s + 2.433s 12. Tony Gilham Gilham Honda 1m19.625s + 2.642s 13. Ollie Jackson AmD Volkswagen 1m19.628s + 2.645s 14. Adam Morgan Speedworks Toyota 1m19.760s + 2.777s 15. Chris James ES Vauxhall 1m20.870s + 3.887s 16. Andy Neate Triple 8 MG 1m20.883s + 3.900s 17. Rob Austin Austin Audi 1m20.904s + 3.921s 18. Gordon Shedden Dynamics Honda 1m21.298s + 4.315s 19. Matt Neal Dynamics Honda 1m22.152s + 5.169s 20. Tony Hughes Speedworks Toyota 1m26.896s + 9.913s 21. Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda 1m30.592s + 13.609s 22. Daniel Welch Welch Proton