Jamie Clarke dominated the qualifying session held this morning at Silverstone ahead of Race-1 which gets underway this afternoon at the English circuit.
With a time of 2’05”793 registered on the stopwatch, the Stratstone Manchester driver proved to be unmatchable for adversaries, with Andrew Bruce (Meridien Modena) who lines up on the grid alongside, closest at 1”4. Starting behind the pair will be Paul Hogarth (Stratstone Manchester) and Richard Guy (Charles Hurst), the fastest of the Coppa Shell drivers. The third row will feature the overall leader from the gentleman’s driver class, Tobi Flannagan, notching up a time just a tenth-of-a-second off Guy who reduces the gap to five points from the man in the Maranello Sales livery. The performance from the two protagonists of the Coppa Shell is a highly respectable one, which allows them to precede two very competitive drivers from the Trofeo Pirelli, Wayne Marrs and Martin Smith.
The virtual second row of the Coppa Shell sees Gary Redman and Stuart Willson in a tussle for the title honours, holding eighth and ninth overall, marginally ahead of Henry Simmons and Marc McAllister. The latter, this year will be paired with Jamie Thwaites, winner of the most recent event in Croft.
The top positions have two usual protagonists noticeably absent in the Trofeo Pirelli class: the leader of the classification Jason Baker and the emerging Josh Kirkwood-Jones. The first will not take part in the race this afternoon, making the battle for the championship even more uncertain, while the latter, after gearbox problems which arose in free practice, has chosen to save tires – as per regulation – after the adoption of the reserve car, which forces the driver to start from the back of the grid.