Motorbase Performance team boss David Bartrum was pleased to see one his drivers finally get qualifying right after Steven Kane qualified sixth for the latest rounds of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone.
The BMW squad has raced strongly in recent events, but poor qualifying performances have proved to be the achilles heel for both Kane and team-mate Rob Collard.
Although Collard missed the window in qualifying and will start the opening race of the weekend at the Northamptonshire circuit down in 16th, Kane was able to get in a good lap while the circuit was at its best and will start from row three having posted the sixth quickest time.
“It was a bit of weird qualifying session as you have some slower drivers towards the front and some quicker ones towards the back,” he told Crash.net
. “There was a definite window in the session and Steven managed to get a lap in, but unfortunately Rob missed it. Where Steven is on the grid is that next phase that I keep talking about in what we want to do, which is to improve our qualifying performance. That is a box we have ticked and will see what happens.
“We hope to do well, but it is harder to do well the further forward you get. It's going to be hard work to cope with the SEATs but the BMWs are quick off the line and maybe we can do something about the Vauxhalls. We knew the season would be hard at the start and that we would progress and in the last few rounds that is what we've done. I'm really happy and we'll go from here.”
While Kane was understandably pleased with the result, Collard was left to reflect on what might have been, although he wasn't the only person to struggle in the session with Mat Jackson and Gordon Shedden just ahead of him on the grid.
“That was a really strange qualifying session and I'm disappointed to say the least,” he said. “Not getting out at the start did not help my chances, but it's frustrating to be so far down the field when the car felt so good. I was going round next to Jackson and Giovanardi and I thought we were all on a decent pace, so it was surprising to come back in and see we were nowhere! By then my tyres had gone and the track conditions had changed so it was impossible to improve much.
“The car really does feel great though so I'm sure I'll be able to challenge those ahead of me in the first race.”