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Qualifying top four talk to btcc.net

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Qualifying top four talk to btcc.net

Croft produced one of the most exciting qualifying sessions of the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship so far as Colin Turkington smashed his own lap record from last season by more than 1.2 seconds. Such has been the development throughout the ultra competitive field over the last 12 months that some 13 drivers dipped under last year’s benchmark with the top ten covered by less than a second. After the dust settled btcc.net caught up with the main protagonists and here’s what they had to say…

Colin Turkington said: “It was a really good lap, especially when you consider that I was carrying a passenger beside me in the form of success ballast! To be honest the weight hasn’t been much of an issue, our car is so well balanced that I can carry it and put it to the back of my mind. The guys in the eBay Motors team have given me a really good car – it’s getting faster at every race meeting and I’m really enjoying driving it at the moment.”

Jason Plato said: “That was the best I could do. We didn’t have the best run-ins for qualifying with the issues this morning which meant that we perhaps hadn’t quite built the perfect rhythm up. That said there’s no more than a tenth left on the table. It’s just the way it is – weight corrected we’re miles off the pace and with the package we’ve got that’s just how it is. With the BMW now 18 months into its development it’s reached the point where their package – weight distribution, longitudinal engine, rear-wheel drive etc makes it a better package. I’m just grumpy I’m not in a rear-wheel drive car – it’s going to be a case of racing for second tomorrow for us. That’s what happens when you get a great driver (Turkington) in a car with an advantage.”

Gordon Shedden said: “That was a cracking lap – when I saw the delta on the way round I had no idea where it came from and I’m still not quite sure! At least it was enough to stick us on row two, but I’m still a little bit disappointed because the car that’s on pole by quite a margin has 45kgs of ballast. You never know what happens in race trim – it’s going to be difficult and I’ll be pushing 100 per cent as always, but on weekends like this it’s especially important to remember that points mean prizes and we’ve got to score a bag full tomorrow again.”

Matt Neal said: “As a team, I’m happy we’ve locked out the second row. For me personally I was a little disappointed, I was hoping for a bit more without any weight on board, so it’s a bit of a double edged sword. It’s definitely a lot better than Oulton where I had an extra digit in my starting position so it’s a step forward. Tomorrow Colin is going to be quick off the line, but we shouldn’t forget that historically the BMWs also take time to get heat into their front tyres. If we can all get into the back of him and give him something to think about then we’ll have a race on our hands. We’re all focusing on Turks, but there’s a few more BMWs and Audis dotted around that we need to keep an eye on too.”

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