Oulton Park Qualifying report
The former-BTCC driver set a 1min 49.995 around Oulton Park, 0.747 seconds ahead of the opposition in the Scirocco R run by Maximum Motorsport.
Local driver Mark Wakefield first out on track and set the initial time before VW rookie Brett Smith brought down the benchmark. With the track and cars heating up, Wakefield and the two Smith’s continued to dice it out.
Just like 2017, the Walton’s were immediately on the pace, with both of them powering into the top five by the middle of qualifying.
After a brief pitstop, Wakefield and Simon Walton returned to the tack for a final push. Though during this time, Brett Smith had continued to lap quicker, becoming the only driver to drop below the 1min 50sec mark, pitting before the flag.
A slew of fast times ensured Simon Walton brought the gap back to under a second, with a 1min 50.742, but no-one could best the time from B. Smith. The Audi TT joins the former-Eurotech driver on the front row as Josh Coggan took third with an inspired last lap making it three car models in the top three.
Lewis Smith will be fourth as the second fastest Maximum Motorsport driver ahead of Mark Wakefield who was unable to continue his early momentum, with the Nantwich driver settling for fifth.
Russell Joyce will be sixth for PMR Racing as Owen Walton dropped to seventh having run as high as fourth during the session.
2018 race winner Martin Depper would be eighth immediately in front of his son Jack for the start. Splitting the two on the grid would be Darrelle Wilson, whose session was hindered after an extended stint in the pits.
Brett Smith:”I tested here on Tuesday last week and did the same time today even though it’s a bit colder, so the track wasn’t quite as quick, but really happy. A solid start.
“We were 3/4 a second up on pole so pretty happy with my solid start.
“Touring Cars put me in good stead and Stewart [Lines]’s background is in Touring Cars as well, so I know how well he runs his cars. He puts the same amount of effort into the VW’s as he does into his Ford Focus.
“Great car, I’ve come in, done a couple of days testing. The only thing I’ve fettled with is the wet set-up, the dry set-up I can’t fault at all, it’s a really good start.”