Donington Park saw BTC Norlin Racing achieve their best results in qualifying since joining the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship in 2017.
With cold and wet weather forecast for the day, the team set about getting in as many laps in the morning to get setup focused for the afternoon.
With Donington being one of Chris Smiley’s favourite tracks, he was determined to make this weekend one to remember. Finishing FP1 in P16 and FP2 in P3, Smiley was keen to get his first pole at the Derbyshire circuit, the circuit that he previously won the Mini Challenge John Cooper Works Championship at.
Smiley narrowly missed out on pole position, with a fastest time of 1:19.846, just 0.03 seconds off Josh Cook’s pole lap.
James Nash ended FP1 and FP2 in P14 and went on to complete the BTC Norlin Racing two cars in the top ten, by qualifying 7th with a fastest time of 1:20.338, matching exactly the lap time achieved by Jack Goff.
Team Boss Bert Taylor could hardly contain his delight with the result but remained focused on the delivery of results in Sunday’s races.
“I couldn’t be happier with our qualifying results today! It’s all down to the hard work from James, Chris and all of the team here at BTC Norlin Racing. We know that we have the ingredients to really challenge at the front of this grid and will be pushing all the way on Sunday.”
With the best qualifying session yet for BTC Norlin Racing, attention turns to the three races today, which get underway at Donington Park at 11:35.
Photography: Phil Laughton