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Crash.net's Rockingham blog: Saturday.

Saturday eve – In memory

Ahead of the opening race on Sunday, the BTCC grid will join together for a minute of applause in tribute to David Leslie and Richard Lloyd, who were amongst the five people to lose their lives in the plane crash that occurred while the season was kicking off at Brands Hatch last month.

The field will also pay another tribute, with all the cars competing in Sunday's three races carrying stickers in remembrance of two special figures in the BTCC's long history.

Saturday eve – Weighty issues

One noticeable thing on the times after qualifying at Rockingham was the performance of defending champion Fabrizio Giovanardi and Mat Jackson – the top two in the standings after the season opener at Brands Hatch.

Of course, their performance in Kent means both have extra weight onboard this weekend and in both cases it proved to be a key factor in their performance – although Giovanardi wasn't helped when he also lost time stopping at the weigh bridge.

"I lost a lot of time when I had to stop at the weigh bridge, which left me with no time to change my set-up," he said. "We had to run with the wet weather set-up for the remainder of the session and I was unable to improve my time. I was also heavy because of the ballast, but nothing is lost though and I will attack from the back tomorrow."

Giovanardi was tenth on the times, a place behind Jackson – who goes into the weekend two points behind the Italian in the standings.

"We made a bit of an error in the pits which meant we were 30 seconds or so late coming out and missed the window," he said. "The weight we had to carry didn't really help either, but its one of those things. Hopefully we can make up places at the start."

Saturday eve – Three wheels on my wagon

Erkut Kizilirmak was in the wars in qualifying when his Astra Sport Hatch ground to a halt on the exit of Tarzan with the Arkas Racing man ended the session parked up on the side of the circuit.

From the press room it wasn't clear to see what the problem was, but it soon became apparent that three wheels on the car rather than four had seen the demise of the Arkas Racing with Sunshine.co.uk man.



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