Senna Proctor was best placed of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship rookies in an eventful qualifying session at Brands Hatch, but said that a top 10 result was there for Vauxhall’s taking.
The teenager from East Yorkshire ended his maiden BTCC qualifying session a respectable 16th overall and earned initial Jack Sears Trophy bragging rights, just 0.103s slower than experienced team-mate, Tom Chilton.
Proctor’s session ended early however after an off into the tyres at Druids with 10 minutes remaining, believing the Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra had top-10 potential.
“We’re top rookie, so every cloud has a silver lining”, Proctor told The Checkered Flag after his eventful qualifying debut.
“Ultimately though it’s not where we want to be. We were looking at the top 10 after FP2 and thought we were more than capable of it.”
Prior to qualifying, Proctor and team-mate Chilton both made significant set-up changes to their Astras across the afternoon. A true representation of pace was hindered by changeable weather conditions in qualifying, but Proctor echoed his team-mate’s high praise of the new NGTC Astra.
“The red flags hindered us a lot”, bemoaned Proctor. “Even though we missed the last 10 minutes of the session by being in the gravel, we’ve shown what the car can be capable of.
“I think that there’s a lot more to come from this Astra and we’re going to turn a lot of heads this year.
“You can’t worry about what everybody else is doing when you have a new car though. Me and Tom work quite well together too and we’ve learned a bit from each other; we’ve both got very different driving styles, so we go two different ways on set-up.”
Proctor also said that experience gained in TOCA support championships made the transition to BTCC a more natural one.
“I’m harnessing everything from TOCA supports that I’ve learned into this”, he added. “The knowledge gained through Clios and Ginettas – you can’t fault it.
“It’s great to have a sequential gearbox again. It’s quite a lively car, but still mega fun to drive and the rear end moving around makes for exciting driving and racing.”