Manning blames heat for lack of pace

British star Darren Manning blamed the hot weather for his failure to improve in final qualifying for the Champ Car London Trophy at Brands Hatch. The Walker Racing driver slipped from provisional fifth, to eighth on the grid

Manning blames heat for lack of pace

Manning, who was quickest in the first free practice session yesterday morning, was hoping that the smooth surface at the Kent circuit would equal out the performance deficit that his Reynard car has to the Lola chassis. But the increased track temperature set him back again.

"I think the Reynard's have lost a little bit of pace compared to the Lola's in the hot weather," said Manning, "which has tended to be a common problem. We knew that we would lose a little bit of pace, but that's not too much of a problem.

"First of all I lost the telemetry on my dashboard so I didn't know what times I was doing, and the team couldn't tell me how much slower or faster I was going. But the car was a lot better than yesterday. I was really, really happy with it, but there's not much more time coming out of it.

"We're on the fourth row of the grid in position eight, so I'm still in with a chance. Hopefully we can get a couple of guys at the start. I know I can overtake in these cars and I know where to overtake here as well, so we should be alright.

Manning's familiarity with Brands Hatch, and the fact that he is on home turf, have boosted his chances and more than one driver has taken the opportunity to try and learn from him during free practice.

"Well, I was trying to keep my tricks safe from Mario Dominguez, but he kept staying behind me. But knowing the bumps and the curves of the circuit and having overtaken people on the inside and outside at virtually every corner hopefully that will stand me in good stead for the race."

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