As the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship returns from a seven-week summer break at Snetterton, so does its band of support championships and here The Checkered Flag rounds up the headlines from their qualifying sessions.
Air Asia Renault UK Clio Cup
The first cars to return to competitive action were the tin-top Clios, with 24 cars taking to the track in the Norfolk sunshine. It was double winner last time out Stefan Hodgetts who topped the timesheets early on in an incredibly tight session, but it was all change in the final six minutes as the times tumbled.
After Ant Whorton-Eales went quickest briefly, it was championship leader Jack Goff who set the best time of the session of 2:08.720s, giving him pole for the first race, with late laps for Paul Rivett and James Dixon putting them second and third respectively. Adam Bonham was next, the top four split by just 0.150s, while Whorton-Eales was pushed down to fifth, one place ahead of Hodgetts.
Team Pyro’s Goff also set the best second-best time to take pole for race two, with title rival Rivett once again joining him on the front row. Hodgetts went an improved third ahead of Pyro duo Bonham and Josh Files.
Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup
The return of the Supercup saw the in-form driver heading into the summer break, Tom Ingram, continue his momentum. Despite completing only three laps, much less than a few of his rivals, the JHR Development driver’s best lap of 1:55.323s was enough for pole for the opening race … but only just.
Jake Hill was only 0.006s adrift in second, his strongest performance since joining the series two meeting’s ago. Championship leader Tom Sharp was third fastest, just 0.142s off Ingram, ahead of Andrew Richardson, Carl Breeze and Jamie Orton, the top six split by less than a second. Completing the top ten were Century Motorsport trio Josh Wakefield, Hunter Abbott and Fergus Walkinshaw and CWS’ Colin White.
A six car field in the G50 class was led, like it has for most of the season, by Richardson Racing’s Mark Davies. A best time of 1:58.032s for the championship leader gave him class pole, over a second ahead of his closest rival, Rob Gaffney. Louise Richardson was third quickest, while fourth on his debut in the series was former Ginetta Junior racer Brad Bailey, ahead of Reece Somerfield and James Owen.
Ginetta Junior Championship
Continuing the run of incredibly close qualifying sessions were the Ginetta Juniors, the top two in the session split by just 0.002s. Taking a first ever pole position was Oliver Chadwick, the JHR Developments driver just edging title contender Charlie Robertson.
Championship leader Sennan Fielding was third quickest, ahead of Hillspeed’s Pepe Massot and the third title contender Niall Murray. The top five’s second fastest times put them in the exact same positions on the grid for the second race.
Freddie Lee qualified twelfth for both races in his first session since joining the series with Hillspeed, with his new team-mate Keith Donegan qualifying tenth for both in his first session since switching from Beacon Racing.
Porsche Carrera Cup GB
A tight Porsche session saw Michael Meadows and series newcomer Andy Meyrick both top the timesheets at one stage before Sam Tordoff stormed to the top to secure pole position for both races, with Meadows second for both and Meyrick third for the opener and fourth for race two, Ben Barker switching positions with him for each. Michael Leonard and Ahmad Al Harthy took the Pro-Am1 class poles, with newcomer Fraser O’Brien topping Pro-Am2 for both races.
You can see a more detailed run-through of the Porsche session here: http://www.thecheckeredflag.co.uk/2012/08/live-porsche-carrera-cup-gb-snetterton-qualifying/
Full results for all the sessions can be found here: http://www.tsl-timing.com/?loc=major&season=2012&series=BTCC&event=races&source=ed_TOCA&eventid=123203