Aron Smith sends message ahead of qualifying
Irishman Aron Smith has set the fastest lap time of the day after flinging his ballast-free Team BMR VW around the ultra-fast Thruxton Circuit in Free Practice Two.
With the VW CCs expected to go well at the Hampshire venue it is Smith who holds the advantage, in both weight and seemingly speed, over his championship winning team-mates. While Smith has regularly shown race winning pace, he will now be targeting his first ever pole position later this afternoon.
Matt Neal also enjoyed a stellar session, taking his Honda Yuasa Racing machine to second on the timesheets, despite carrying maximum ballast as championship leader.
MG Triple Eight Racing continued its rise with Jack Goff and Andrew Jordan claiming third and fourth respectively. Andy Priaulx set another top five time as the WSR BMWs look to make a return to race-winning form, whilst Colin Turkington again confirmed the VW’s credentials by claiming sixth.
Gordon Shedden continued his solid day in seventh ahead of Adam Morgan’s impressive WIX Racing Mercedes. It was local driver Josh Cook’s turn to break into the top order for Power Maxed Racing with Eurotech’s Jeff Smith getting the better of team-mate Martin Depper to round out the top ten.
The session was interrupted by suspension failure to Dan Welch’s Proton that halted proceedings shortly before mid-session. More than ten minutes of track time was lost, which had initially seemed to play into the hands of FP1 pace-setter Jason Plato. The double champion looked to be in imperious form earlier this month before a late puncture fired his car off into the barrier. His Team BMR squad worked tirelessly to ready the car for FP2 and the veteran was able to return to the circuit shortly after the restart. Unfortunately after a brief foray into proceedings he immediately pitted with the car not being entirely to his liking.
Other notable absentees from the top ten included Team JCT600 with GardX racers Sam Tordoff and Rob Collard – the BMW duo could only manage 13th and 14th respectively.
Martin Donnelly’s bid to gain more track time behind the wheel of the Infiniti Q50 was curtailed when he pulled off late on with a mechanical problem.
Qualifying for Round 7 of the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will take place at 4pm with the action being streamed live and exclusively via www.itv.com/btcc
Click here for the final classification from Free Practice Two at Thruxton.