BTCC »'s Brands Hatch blog: Saturday.

Saturday eve – Early promise

The SEAT Leon TDi may be a winner on the WTCC stage, but the BTCC is a different challenge altogether – and the team was happy enough to see Jason Plato on the second row of the grid after qualifying.

It could still have been better though, had luck – and the Brands Hatch weighbridge – been on the team's site.

"I'm happy with fourth, but at the same time disappointed not to be on the front row," chief engineer Piers Phillips said. "We had a plan and worked through it, getting good balance in the car and making progress every time we were on track. It's a learning process and this is a big challenge for us – probably more than when we swapped the Toledo for the Leon.

"We think we have good pace over a race distance and we think tyre degradation won't be a problem. Everyone has seen that it's been a bit of an issue for the WTCC team, but the Dunlop tyres seem to be working better for us than the Yokohama ones work for the world team. But only time will tell if we're right."

Saturday eve – Youth wins over experience

Youth triumphed over experience at John Guest Racing as 'Young Man' out-qualified 'Old Man' ahead of his debut, but both Andrew and Mike were left to wonder what might have been after managing just 14th and 17th on the grid.

"It's frustrating," the young one said. "The guys did a good job but 14th doesn't show our pace. I made a mistake on the tyres and we could have been at the front as I did manage to get into fourth. People will have seen I got to fourth on the timing screens, which was good, and I've had some running in the wet now too.

"I want three finishes from Sunday and where I finish doesn't really matter at this stage – I'd be disappointed if I didn't bring the car home in all the races."

As for Dad?

"Apart from when we've had a problem, I don't think we've been this far down the grid," he said. "We were in the pits when we should have been on the track; simple as that..."

Saturday eve – Plenty of promise

The car came straight from Spain and driver Adam Jones hadn't sat in before the weekend, but Team Aircool made solid progress with its new SEAT Leon.

Had it not been for a red flag at the end of the session, Jones would have been higher up the grid than the 15th place he ended up with, having earlier run in the top three.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
BTCC 2008
BMW returns to the BTCC with WSR
Ashley Sutton - Subaru Team BMR [pic credit BTCC]
Jack Goff, Eurotech Racing, [Credit: BTCC media]
Matt Simpson, Team Dynamics, [Credit: BTCC Media]
Rob Austin, Handy Motorsport [Credit: Handy Motorsport]
Andrew Jordan, WSR Pirtek BMW [Credit:Jakob Ebrey]
Mat Jackson, Motorbase Performance, Shredded Wheat [Credit: Motorbase]
Gordon Shedden, Matt Neal, Halfords Yuasa Racing [Credit: Halfords Yuasa]
Ant Whorton-Eales,, BTCC [Credit:]
Mat Jackson, Motorbase Performance, Shredded Wheat [Credit: Motorbase]
Senna Proctor, Power Maxed Racing, BTCC [Credit: BTCC media]

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