Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship debutant Howard Fuller is optimistic he can fight for top ten places in tomorrow’s three races at Rockingham after a strong qualifying session.
After finishing the second free practice session in the gravel trap when he missed a gear braking for Gracelands, Fuller went into qualifying with no experience driving on new rubber and just 21 laps of the high-speed circuit in a British Touring Car under his belt.
But the Team-HARD. youngster delivered when it mattered, qualifying just 1.5s behind poleman Jason Plato after a tight thirty-minutes ended with half a second blanketing Rob Collard in eighth and Fuller in 14th.
The 20-year-old declared himself satisfied with his performance – then set his sights on cracking the top ten.
“Pretty happy with the result,” he told theCheckeredFlag.co.uk. “We’re pretty much there. It’s our first time driving on new rubber and luckily we had a lot of clear space.
“I’m still learning the car. I definitely feel I could have found three or four tenths, which would have put me eighth; I really feel I had the pace in the car.”
Fuller has pedigree at the track, having won here already this year in the VW Cup, and despite his limited experience in saloon cars believes he can keep moving so long as the team – and driver – can keep making progress; and stay out of trouble in race one.
“I think so,” he replied when asked if there was more pace to be found in himself than the car. “Maybe it’s about 50/50. We need to adjust the car so it suits my driving style, which is quite aggressive, but for the race we’re pretty much there – we were running a race set-up in qualifying.
“It’s carnage, the first lap. My main priority is to finish and I think if I can finish the first race in a strong position it’ll have a big effect on our mentality over the weekend. If I can finish where I started it’s not too bad.”