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Fantastic First Front Row for Airwaves BMW

Airwaves BMW

August 29th 2009

HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship
Silverstone (Rounds 22/23/24)
Qualifying Update

The Hampshireman took advantage of favourable track conditions early in the qualifying session to post the second-best time of the 20 cars in the field and put his BMW 320si just behind pole-sitter Mat Jackson for tomorrow's first race.

Rob Collard in Qualifying at SilverstoneCollard was the highest-placed BMW runner and the only driver able to split the dominant Chevrolets of Jackson, Nash and Plato - who occupied first, third and fourth respectively.

Team-mate Jonny Adam also enjoyed a good qualifying session and will line up seventh on the grid, one place ahead of reigning champion Fabrizio Giovanardi and just behind the rival BMWs of championship leader Colin Turkington and Stephen Jelley.

In another incredibly closely fought qualifying run, which saw the top 13 cars separated by less than one second, BMWs filled five of the top ten slots.

With Airwaves BMW enjoying another excellent outing in qualifying, following a third and a fifth in the previous round at Knockhill, the Kent-based squad will be determined to translate that pace into strong points finishes in Sunday's three BTCC races around Silverstone's National Circuit layout.

Catch all the the HiQ MSA Touring Car Championship action at Silverstone live on ITV4 between 11am and 5.30pm tomorrow (Sunday).

Airwaves BMW Team Principal David Bartrum said:
"I think that's a fantastic result for us and it is our best result in BTCC qualifying so far.  Both of the drivers did a brilliant job at a track which doesn't favour us as much as the front-wheel drive cars.  Now we have to work really hard to make sure we take advantage of the good position we've put ourselves in during the races tomorrow.  We know the likes of the Chevrolets and Vauxhalls will be quick around here in race trim but we've shown that BMWs can take the fight to them.  Some of the drivers out there will be worried about their championship chances tomorrow, and while we may be out of the running at the moment we will battle all the way to the end of the season to score more podiums and spoil their party."

Airwaves BMW Team driver Rob Collard said:
"I'm very pleased to have secured the best qualifying result for Airwaves BMW.  The car was sensational and I managed to bang in four or five really dynamic laps at the start of the session when the track was at its best.  I've made some great starts this year so being second on the grid gives me a real chance of fighting for the lead when the lights go out.  We need a good result in the first race to set us up for the rest of the day.  If I can be there or thereabouts three or four laps in then hopefully the race will come to me as the BMW 320si looks after its tyres well and becomes stronger as a race progresses.  It's all to play for so I'm really looking forward to trying to add more podiums to my record this season."   

Airwaves BMW Team driver Jonny Adam said:
"We knew the competition was going to be fierce in qualifying here and making sure I was in the top eight was my aim coming to Silverstone.  I've achieved that but after this morning's practice sessions I was pretty confident that I could have been a few places higher.  However, the guys who got out early got some very quick laps in and no-one could touch them for the rest of the session.  The track just seemed to be a bit slower towards the end.  It's very close at the sharp end of the grid though and that should make for a great first race tomorrow.  We will be right up there and I will be looking for three solid points finishes this weekend."

Qualifying Classification (top ten only)

1. Mat Jackson, Racing Silverline-Chevrolet Lacetti, 1m00.252s
2. Rob Collard, Airwaves BMW-BMW 320si, +0.233s
3. James Nash, Racing Silverline-Chevrolet Lacetti, +0.261s
3. Jason Plato, Racing Silverline-Chevrolet Lacetti, +299s
5.  Colin Turkington, Team RAC-BMW 320si, +0.438s
6.  Stephen Jelley, Team RAC-BMW 320si, +0.473s
7.  Jonathan Adam, Airwaves BMW-BMW 320si, +0.509s
8.  Fabrizio Giovanardi, VX Racing-Vauxhall Vectra, +0.610s
9.  Tom Chilton, Team Aon-Ford Focus ST, +710s
10. Anthony Reid, Team RAC-BMW 320si, +0.761s