Team Aon have declared themselves happy with their performance in their debut World Touring Car Championship qualifying session, where drivers James Nash and Tom Chilton qualified 14th and 15th for the series debut of the Global Ford Focus.
“Both drivers and the team did a brilliant job not only this afternoon but over the past few days in preparing the car for this qualifying session,” said Team Manager Alan Cole.
“We've had a few little teething issues which held us back from being a little further up the grid but overall a very positive first qualifying experience especially considering that we've closed the gap to the front runners already.
“James and Tom did exceptionally well and the entire team have worked incredibly hard to be where they are today.”
A red flag in the closing moments of Q1 prevented drivers from finishing the flying laps they were on, or allowing them to go back on track to try and better their times. With Nash falling just a couple of tenths shy of the 12th place cut-off, he felt he could have made it into Q2 without the red flag.
“I think I could have found that extra couple of tenths during qualifying today to have made it into Q2 but obviously with the red flag there wasn't the opportunity,” said the reigning BTCC independents' champion.
“It was a challenging session but every time we get out on track we were improving and I'm aiming to hit the track and continue to improve throughout tomorrow's races.”
Teammate Chilton had similarly mixed feelings about his session.
“I think we can be pleased to say that as a new team on our first event we're close to last year's pole position time, with no previous experience with this engine or around this track. I think we certainly have it in us to be further up there, it's just a shame that the red flag towards the end meant that I couldn't finish my fastest lap to see what else the car was capable of today.”