Quotes from the fourth qualifying session of the 2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season.
Bobby Thompson: “A difficult end to Saturday here at Oulton Park. We had a really good FP1 and FP2 and we were expecting to do the same in qualifying but again we didn’t make that jump in lap time that the others are seemingly able to make.
“We’ve got a new direction that we are going to pursue tomorrow to help improve our pace but the race pace is strong once again so I expect that if we keep our noses clean, we will move into the points tomorrow and have a good end to the weekend.”
Will Powell: “Another day in the BTCC and what I would call my second qualifying session ever after the weather at Brands Hatch. It was my first qualifying session of really understanding what we need to do in terms of getting the car and tyres in the window and working with the other drivers to make sure we all get in our laps without getting in the way of each other. There is a lot to think about out on track.
“Every session today we were improving and taking chunks of time off our overall lap time which is a positive but obviously we are not where we want to be so there is work for both me and the team to do going into tomorrow.
“From a personal point of view, we are getting quicker all the time and we have a good race car so I’m confident that we can have a race tomorrow and get stuck in.”
Aron Taylor-Smith: “A very difficult day, I think we all came here excited and expecting more than we have achieved today in qualifying. We seem to be struggling with the weight of the hybrid system in the car and how that is affecting the shift of balance.
“There is a lot of head scratching, a lot of things that need to be revisited that may not have been in our channels of thought before we came here. It’s disappointing to see the cars where they are at the moment, and it is gutting for the team because we want to be at the front, but we are just missing something right now.
“We have the best crew possible to sort this issue and once again I can’t fault them, but we aren’t too sure at the moment whether this will be quick fix or not for race day tomorrow. We will do our best tomorrow to grab some points and then revaluate the situation back at base ready for the rest of the year.”
Nic Hamilton: “An upsetting qualifying session I would say. We have this new brake servo; it helps me across the board and is a game changer in terms of the pressure I am able to produce on the brakes in the car. I’ve never had anything like it in my touring car career and honestly, it’s amazing. The downside is that we haven’t had a lot of time to fine tune it and it’s almost like the brakes are ‘too’ good when we fit new disks and pads.
“For example, in my first qualifying run today I was just locking brakes everywhere and it was almost like I had to reprogram my brain to understand the modulation of the brake pedal. There are a couple of things we can do to sort this like turning down the pressure on the servo with a new valve. At the moment we are just using an off the shelf servo which I wanted to try but now we are getting to the fine tenths of a second and fine adjustments.
“I was only two tenths off Aron today who is in the same car as me, which was good, but I feel like I could have been a lot closer if I had hooked it all up. I then ended up over driving a bit which upsets me, there is so much potential in this car and I just want to show that to everyone.
“The team have done a great job as always; the car was reliable again so thank you to them for that. The car has proven to be better on race pace so I’m confident we can be in the fight tomorrow and have some close battles out on track.”
Rick Parfitt: “It seems I am having to learn each circuit in this car, in essence I’m playing catch up at each round. Mentally it’s pretty tough going and unfortunately, we had an issue in qualifying which meant I stopped on track which wasn’t ideal but that’s racing, I guess.
“I’m starting from the back but tomorrow is a new day and I will be on the charge to make up some places and give it a good crack!”