Team Aon has had the car to beat in qualifying lately, so it was a surprise to see a less than dominant qualifying performance from the team’s pair of Ford Focuses. Nevertheless, through the driving rain Tom Chilton managed to put his car 3rd on the grid for tomorrow’s opening race – but team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole failed to set a time and will start from the back.
Both Fords were mixing it at the top of the leaderboard for most of the session, however Onslow-Cole’s Focus picked up damage which caused it to fail a ride height check – twice. As a result both of his times were disallowed and he would be the sole occupant of Row 11 on the grid.
“The front right corner of my car was damaged on my very first run, which meant that I failed the ride height when I was called in on my way back to the pits,” explained Onslow-Cole. “The team fixed it as quickly as they could but there was very little time left of the session when I went back on track and I wasn't able to set a time. I'm glad Tom [Chilton] is starting from the front at least, and I'll have to use every trick I know to get back there as quickly as possible during tomorrow's races.”
In contrast Chilton was much happier, but still had a tough time setting competitive laps on the drenched circuit.
“No lap was the same throughout the entire session. It was very tricky to handle but I pushed as hard as I could throughout,” he said. “I locked up a few times on the back straight and kept trying to find ways to push the boundaries but it is always so close in qualifying. I'm happy with third though; there was only a very short period between the track being greasy and extremely wet. That's when most of us set our best lap. After that, the best chance anyone had was to use the trail marks left by other cars. As soon as you leave those though, you just go off. It's meant to be dry tomorrow so we'll be pushing for wins then.”