Saturday qualifying saw Jordan Collard come away with MINI Challenge – JCW pole position after a delayed qualifying session. The Ginetta Junior graduate had minimal testing on Friday, but still outclassed the field to take a dominant early lead at Oulton Park.
Qualifying begun with immediate drama as a safety car was forced to come out after George Sutton stalled his #444 on the back straight. A red flag soon followed, with Ben Dimmack car left abandoned on track and with Sutton having been towards the top at the time, rued the chance to fight for pole.
Nathan Harrison had been on top during this break, and remained competitive. His spot at the top was short-lived though, with Collard racing to provisional pole in his first JCW outing. The MINI UK VIP driver would find company in fellow ToCA contingent, Ant Whorton-Eales narrowly behind.
Collard though was not to be outdone, improving his time and finishing on pole by 0.794 seconds from Whorton-Eales. Harrison would be the only other driver within a second of Collard, proving how quickly the former Ginetta Junior driver had adapted.
Fourth overall would go to BTCC refugee, Paul O’Neill. While Paul, along with Matt Neal, are only guest drivers for this round, neither had anything to prove with O’Neill leaving his chance of a podium on the table.
Rounding out the top six would be David Robinson and Luke Reade. The Excelr8 drivers hadn’t threatened the leaders, but remain in contention come Monday.
Both races are scheduled for Easter Monday.