An alleged lack of straight line speed and a failed ride height test resulted in both Airwaves BMW drivers outside the top ten in qualifying at Silverstone, leaving the squad frustrated ahead of the three races on the National Circuit.
As the rest of the field floundered somewhat in the wake of the Aon Focuses Airwaves' Mat Jackson was one of the few who appeared to have the equipment and skill to compete with the LPG powered cars. The Warwickshire local was third fastest in practice led by Aon man Tom Chilton.
Qualifying seemed set to deliver even better results for Jackson, sitting on provisional pole after the first ten minutes of the session.
However, the BMW failed the ride height test due to a broken component hanging just too low, and Jackson's markers were removed, forcing him to contemplate starting the first of the weekend's races from the rear of the field. Fortunately the team were able to rectify the problem, leaving Jackson with just enough time to run two further flying laps – peaking at 1:01.191, only seven-tenths down on his practice time but only good enough for 13th place on the grid, Jackson suggesting teams were sandbagging through the earlier sessions.
Steven Kane in the other Airwaves backed, Motorbase prepared car will start race one from eleventh, his best time a 1:01.010. Predictably qualifying was topped by Team Aon, their two cars more than half a second ahead of anyone else, leaving Airwaves to claim; “whatever they're drinking, well, we want some!”
“For me personally it was a disappointing session,” said Kane. “I feel I should have been a little bit quicker and obviously we're lacking the straight-line speed which cost us here and at Snetterton. This was always going to be a tough circuit for the team but it's frustrating as Silverstone is right up there as one of my favourites. I want to perform well here but tomorrow is another day and I know where we can find a little more from the car. I'm looking forward to getting a result.”
“We were relatively happy after this morning session and confident going in to qualifying,” said team manager Oliver Collins. “Unfortunately it would seem some of our competitors are able to turn the wick up and we just don't have that ability. 5th was a realistic target and we're wide of the mark but still confident of a good racecar tomorrow. I don't think we can touch the turbo cars or the Chevy's so we may need a bit of luck, or rain!”