The reigning champion won the Q2 session after taking the lead off the start. He withstood pressure from behind to take the win which helped him secure the top spot. He didn’t have it all his own way. Derek Tohill came in second by being in the top 3 in every session, though failed to win. He had been stuck in traffic in every session with his best pace still unknown.
Mark Donnelly – “Good day so far. Made some changes to the car and it feels so much better now”
Roberts Vitols picked up where he left of on Saturday by winning the opening session. He jokered at the start and used the clear air to set the pace. The other heats were scrappier for the Latvian. With only 8 tyres to use on a highly abrasive circuit his pace has suffered. He has been in close battles with Roger Thomas who finished 6th in qualifying. The Welshman was eliminated before the semi-finals at round 1 with a cracked exhaust manifold. With that fixed yesterday he was consistent across the sessions.
In Q1 he battled past Tristan Ovenden and Steve Hill. While trying to pass Ovenden out of Chessons the pair made contact. Thomas was forced into the apex barrier, exploding the polystyrene marker on the infield. Tristan hadn’t realised there was a car alongside and both cars continued with Thomas taking the position at North Bend. He recovered to 3rd in Q2 but dropped back after that and could only managed 5th in qualifying.
Roger Thomas – “He left a big hole so I went in. [Tristan] came over and spoke to me. Just contact, that’s racing
Ollie O’Donovan managed to steer clear of the trouble to go 4th overall. His pace had improved into today after admitting to being too tired on Saturday.
Ollie O’Donovan – “Kept my nose clean, I think a lot of the boys ahead of me are mish mashing having fights.”
Julian Godfrey could do no better than 7th. The engine tuner has suffered from running on 3 cylinders. It was less of an issue in Q2 when he went 4th before he was slowed further in Q3. He said he would be unable to fix it and suspected a valve seal had come out.
8th went to Steve Hill. He jumped the start in Q2. The first start was aborted after the lights failed to illuminate. It was another long hold for the restart and Hill moved over the line. He had thought they had been illuminated but quickly realised his mistake. Hill has brought a new suspension to help in slower speed corner, something his long Mitsubishi struggles with.
Sellar could only manage 9th. This weekend he has a newer lighter flywheel. While it is quicker over a lap he is struggling a lot off the line. He has been dropping back off every start and in the ultra-close field he has been relegated to last, apart from those with issues.
One person with major issues was Andy Scott. A turbo broke in practice just after setting the fastest time. The team set about fixing it but failed to make it out in Q1 or Q2. Starting at the back in Q3 he won, setting the fastest qualifying run of the entire weekend. He’ll be starting at the back again in the semi-finals and will be hoping to win once more.