Motorbase Performance pairing Rob Collard and Steven Kane enjoyed a successful return to home soil after both qualified inside the top ten for the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship season finale at Brands Hatch.
Collard produced his strongest qualifying performance of the season at the wheel of his BMW 320si and secured seventh on the grid, just two-tenths of a second from pole position man Stephen Jelley.
“I'm delighted for the team to have got such a good result,” he said. “We wanted top ten and it's nice to have such an upbeat feeling after qualifying for a change. We put a lot of fuel into my car because we felt the track would come to us the more laps we did, and towards the end it became very driveable and gave me the confidence to pick up some time.
“There is so little margin between the top half of the field. It's a good position to be in though, and if we can make a good start off the line as usual then we should have a great race.”
Team-mate Steven Kane also qualified inside the top ten having posted the ninth quickest time in the sister car, although he was slightly disappointed not to match the sixth place he secured last time out at Silverstone.
“After qualifying so well in the last round at Silverstone I was hoping to be right up there again, so I'm a little disappointed with ninth,” he said. “I was struggling with the car a bit under braking so we'll have to look at that, but a top ten start is still a good result. With both cars in the top half of the grid it gives us a good chance of scoring some serious points in the first race.”
The season finale marks the first time this year that both Kane and Collard have qualified inside the top ten and having been quicker in race situations than qualifying during the nine race weekends held to date, team boss David Bartrum said he was confident of a strong showing on race day.
“I'm really, really pleased with our qualifying result,” he said. “I'm particularly happy for Rob because that is his best qualifying result of the season and that lays another ghost to rest for him this year.
“Top ten is where we want to be, and while we were not quite as quick as the other BMWs today we're ahead of the two title challengers Giovanardi and Plato which is nice. We're usually quicker in races than qualifying so this should give us a good platform to attack from.”