The MG KX Momentum Racing team endured a day of mixed fortunes as Jason Plato qualified second for Sunday’s first race at Thruxton – only to then suffer a high-speed off and damage the car.
A predictably wet day at Thruxton – as the UK continues to be soaked by the wettest April since records began – saw the Triple Eight-run MG team experience their first wet running in the morning’s two free practice sessions.
With Plato having run as high as third and then second in the two sessions, confidence was high going into qualifying. Conditions were damp and drying and the team opted to do a run on wet tyres first before switching to slick rubber.
Plato managed to post a lap good enough for second fastest but as he continued to push the conditions caught out the double champion and he suffered a high-speed off at the infamous Church corner. Despite vaulting a low tyre wall, Plato escaped unharmed from his car, which suffered only moderate damage.
The incident brought out the red flags and despite the stoppage Plato was able to take no further part in the session.
“Overall I’m pleased,” said Plato. “Obviously it’s a shame I dropped the car and went off, but we’ve got some good pace in the dry and a little bit of work to do in the wet; but it’s also our first time in the wet, so that’s understandable. To still be P2 for tomorrow gives us a good platform to build from which is encouraging.”
Andy Neate had a more difficult day. An electrical fault meant that he could manage no running in the first free practice session. In the second, the 37 year-old could only manage 19th.
Qualifying saw Neate improve to take 16th on the grid and ahead of the two works Honda’s, if only due to their problems in qualifying. Neate ended the session with a spin at Seagrave.
“Not a great day, we lost the whole of First Practice with an electrical fault, which in turn put us onto the back foot for qualifying,” summarised Neate. “Going through Noble the back let go and that was the end of my session.”
Team Principal Ian Harrison admitted the day had been a tough one for the team, which will see them working on both cars into the evening.
“A tough day for the crew with both cars picking up a lot of damage,” said Harrison. “It’s all very well pushing for a lap time, but both cars ending up in the wall is far from an ideal situation.
“However, we have inherent pace in the car, wet or dry which bodes well for tomorrow, but it will be about finishing the races and scoring points which are only achieved by seeing the chequered flag. The weather looks set to be a major factor again, which should make it interesting.”