Jordan takes dramatic Thruxton pole as championship leaders meet the sceneryPosted: April 28, 2012 | |
Andrew Jordan was in fine form at Thruxton as he surged to pole position in a chaotic damp qualifying session that saw Jason Plato and Matt Neal both crash out, Plato still qualifying second despite a scary off a Church that ended in the greenery…
It was the Eurotech driver’s first pole position since Donington 2009 and Jordan was consistently a threat throughout the 30-minute session, even improving his time in the damper final stages of the session.
Championship leader Plato came out of the blocks strongly in the unpredictable conditions to move to the top of the times early, improving his effort immediately with a 1m17.741s lap to set the benchmark.
Jordan was the man who then stepped up the pace with a blistering effort of 1m17.389s, before Gordon Shedden (Honda) and Rob Collard (BMW) also began to push on and moved up to second and third as Plato’s time was removed for exceeding track limits, dropping him to fourth.
His main championship rival Neal – running 11th at the time – then suffered a much bigger problem when he lost control of his Honda Civic through the first turn and speared off the racetrack, straightening it out but slapping the right-rear corner against the barrier and breaking the suspension, ending his session prematurely.
There was then a much more dramatic incident that caused the red flags to be waved and the session to be halted for a while.
Plato had lost the rear of his MG6 heading into the ultra-quick Church corner, and the car went for a wild ride through the grass and ended up parked up and over the tyre barrier in the hedges. Plato was unhurt and said afterwards that the car just “lost control, and the next thing I know I’m heading over the tyrewall”.
Before this, Shedden had just eclipsed Jordan’s pole time with a 1m16.894s effort, but he then had all his times from the session deleted for a turbo boost infringement, something that cost Mat Jackson his race three win at Donington.
The Dynamics Honda squad’s miserable qualifying was then capped off when Shedden went grass-tracking at turn one after a mistake on his first lap since the restart, and then had his final lap ruined by a second red flag that ended the session, caused by Andy Neate and the desperately unlucky Rob Austin crashing into the barriers at Goodwood, Austin having only just had a new engine arrive a few hours before qualifying and be put into the car just in time.
Despite Plato and Neal’s damaged cars being brought back to the pits, both did not set another lap, and for Honda the session was a disaster as Shedden will start 18th on the grid, with Neal in 19th.
Jordan inherited the pole position after Shedden’s problems, but went and improved on his last lap with a 1m16.983s to seal the deal.
He will be joined on the front row unbelievably by Plato, who despite being out of the session still held onto second. A very impressive showing also came from Frank Wrathall who qualified third for Dynojet Toyota, ahead of Donington winner Mat Jackson (Redstone Ford) and Dave Newsham continuing to shine for ES Racing despite his session ending early with mechanical problems.
Collard was quick throughout, but the WSR man had to settle for sixth ahead of three exceptional performers in the shape of Aron Smith (Redstone Ford) in seventh, Lea Wood (BINZ Racing Vauxhall) eighth and Liam Griffin for Redstone Ford ninth at the end of a topsy-turvy session. Tom Onslow-Cole rounded out he top 10 after he was another man to lose times for exceeding track limits.
1. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Honda 1m16.983s
2. Jason Plato Triple 8 MG 1m17.807s + 0.824s
3. Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota 1m18.002s + 1.019s
4. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 1m18.451s + 1.468s
5. Dave Newsham ES Vauxhall 1m18.578s + 1.595s
6. Rob Collard WSR BMW 1m18.626s + 1.643s
7. Aron Smith Motorbase Ford 1m18.871s + 1.888s
8. Lea Wood Wood Vauxhall 1m18.999s + 2.016s
9. Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford 1m19.151s + 2.168s
10. Tom Onslow-Cole WSR BMW 1m19.227s + 2.244s
11. Nick Foster WSR BMW 1m19.416s + 2.433s
12. Tony Gilham Gilham Honda 1m19.625s + 2.642s
13. Ollie Jackson AmD Volkswagen 1m19.628s + 2.645s
14. Adam Morgan Speedworks Toyota 1m19.760s + 2.777s
15. Chris James ES Vauxhall 1m20.870s + 3.887s
16. Andy Neate Triple 8 MG 1m20.883s + 3.900s
17. Rob Austin Austin Audi 1m20.904s + 3.921s
18. Gordon Shedden Dynamics Honda 1m21.298s + 4.315s
19. Matt Neal Dynamics Honda 1m22.152s + 5.169s
20. Tony Hughes Speedworks Toyota 1m26.896s + 9.913s
21. Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda 1m30.592s + 13.609s
22. Daniel Welch Welch Proton