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Airwaves BMW Top ten in qualifying

Airwaves BMW

May 16th 2009

HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship
Donington Park (Rounds 7/8/9)
Update after Qualifying
May 16th, 2009

Airwaves BMW drivers Rob Collard and Jonny Adam secured top-ten positions on the grid after an eventful HiQ MSA Touring Car Championship qualifying session at Donington Park.

Airwaves BMW Top Ten in QualifyingDespite dubious weather conditions overhead the track stayed mainly dry for qualifying at the Leicestershire circuit, allowing the Airwaves BMW drivers to go out and attack the challenging 1.9 mile layout.

The duo suffered a slight setback after being called into the pits mid-way through the session due to a ride height infringement, meaning the times they had already set were ruled invalid.  However, they were soon back out on track and both showed good pace to break into the top ten grid positions.

Rob Collard left it late to post his best time of the day and finish sixth-fastest.  He clocked up his quickest qualifying run on his second from last lap, with only a few minutes of the session left.  It left the Airwaves BMW man positioned between the rival Team RAC BMWs of Stephen Jelley and Colin Turkington on the starting grid – which should ensure an exciting run for the first corner in the first race of the day.

Jonny Adam followed his team-mate's lead and recovered well from his penalty to go even quicker than he had before - and record the ninth-fastest time in qualifying.  The BRDC Superstar is sandwiched on the grid by Vauxhall star Matt Neal and the Racing Silverline Chevrolet Lacetti of Mat Jackson.  The young Scot will need all of his prodigious talent to take the fight to these two experienced racers, and will be hoping to use the blistering starting power of the Airwaves BMW 320si to get the better of them when the flag drops.

The fact that less than a second separated the cars in pole position and eleventh place in qualifying at Donington gives an indication of just how close the 2009 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship battle continues to be in one of the most exciting seasons for many years.

All three races from Donington Park will be shown live on ITV4 between 11.30am-6.00pm on Sunday.

Airwaves BMW Team Principal David Bartrum said:
"We are right on the pace with the other BMWs so we have to be happy with that.  Both Rob and Jonny did a very professional job and put themselves right into contention for race one.  It was disappointing to have fallen foul on a technical issue but we have never had any problems like that before and we were sure we were in full compliance.  Thankfully it hasn't affected us too much and we're still in a strong position to challenge at the front tomorrow (Sunday).  I'm very positive about our chances of doing well if the conditions are ok."

Airwaves BMW Team driver Rob Collard said:
"I'm pretty happy with that session after the issues we had.  We didn't have a lot of time to get back out and I was under a fair bit of pressure.  We made some small changes to the suspension setup when I came in and it made a tremendous difference.  When I went back out the car felt really good and I went quicker than I had in the first part of the session.  I think I even messed up another lap that could have been even quicker by making a slight mistake near the end of it, but I'm not too disappointed as I'm in a great position to go for a podium positions in the first race."

Airwaves BMW Team driver Jonny Adam said:
"It's difficult when your session is disrupted as it puts you out of your rhythm.  Still, it was pleasing to go quicker again after I got back out and it was quite a good result in the end.  Personally I think I've got a couple of more tenths I can find out there, and if the conditions are right I believe I can go very quickly at this track.  There's some really good drivers around me on the grid for the first race tomorrow so it will be really exciting to go head-to-head with them."

Qualifying Classification (Top ten only)

1.  Andrew Jordan, VX Racing-Vauxhall Vectra, 1m13.241s
2.  Harry Vaulkhard, Tempus Sport-Chevrolet Lacetti, +0.015s
3.  James Thompson, Team Dynamics-Honda Civic, +0.037s
4.  Jason Plato, Racing Silverline-Chevrolet Lacetti, +0.124s
5.  Stephen Jelley, Team RAC-BMW 320si, +0.143s
6.   Rob Collard, Airwaves BMW-BMW 320si, +0.252
7.  Colin Turkington, Team RAC-BMW 320si, +0.322
8.  Matt Neal, VX Racing-Vauxhall Vectra, +0.320
9.   Jonathan Adam, Airwaves BMW-BMW 320si, +0.554s
10. Mat Jackson, Racing Silverline-Chevrolet Lacetti, +0.595