ROCKINGHAM QUALIFYING REPORT
P5 FOR TURKINGTON
It was another super tight BTCC qualifying session at Rockingham this afternoon with twenty seven cars separated by only one second. Running on the 1.94 mile circuit for the first time with the 2017 Dunlop construction tyres, Team BMW had their work to do on the unique Rockingham surface.
Grip and balance challenges were prevalent throughout the day and as the track temperatures continued to rise, the quest for the optimum setup continued. It was a slightly damp and greasy start in free practice one, but the sunshine soon broke through to provide hot and humid conditions for FP2 and qualifying.
THE HEAT IS ON
Qualifying kicked off in the scorching mid afternoon sun, and it was soon clear to see that with the long fast Speedway section, the lighter and faster cars would ultimately prevail. Committed to maintain his current strong qualifying record, Colin set off determined to find a time that would ensure his race day hopes. It was his second and third run that secured his top five result as his lighter Championship rival Sutton nipped ahead in P4.
Satisfied to start on the third row, Turkington knew that the intensity of his effort today was going to be crucial for his Championship battle.
“Considering the struggles with grip levels today, I’m over the moon with P5. I knew it was going to be a tricky one from the get go, but dialling the BMW into qualifying mode today certainly challenged us.
Carrying 75kgs around a circuit with a high speed section like Rockingham is another challenge we had to take into account, so you can bet that I’m happy to start on the third row.
I’ll have to race hard tomorrow and give everything I’ve got but for now we need to lock heads and find a plan for the car for the race. Rockingham is hard on tyre wear and a good qualifying car might not necessarily be a car you want to race with.