Rockingham’s abrasive track surface often means that drivers have to get their best times in before their tires go off and in the sunny conditions during qualifying this is exactly what happened. There were very few cars running in the last five minutes of the session, once the tires have gone off there is no point in continuing.
One driver who wished he had been able to continue was Mike Bushell. With ten minutes still left in the session, Mike ground to a halt on circuit but was able to limp back into the pit lane just when everyone was setting their fastest laps.
The problem was soon identified as a faulty throttle switch but it left the current championship leader starting seventh and third for the two races of the weekend.
Max Coates meanwhile stepped up with some blistering lap times to secure double pole positions. Although he is currently considered an outsider in the title race, Max can still take it if he keeps pushing with the extra pace he seems to have found since the summer break.
Lee Pattison is sure to be happy with a third and second, both ahead of Mike, where he needs to be to close the championship points gap.
Paul Rivett managed a second for the first race but disallowed times dropped him to eighth for the second race where he is going to have a lot of work to do.
A new face on the grid at Rockingham is Zak Fulk, who qualified ninth for both races. The sixteen year old has joined Team Pyro after a successful karting career and a very brief, one weekend, stint in the Ginetta Juniors. For his maiden outing, Zak impressed with his times and could well be one to watch as his experience grows.
All in all, a great qualifying for Max Coates and an unlucky one for Mike Bushell. Breaking Mike’s run of double poles means the championship is still anyone’s for the taking.