The two Arena Motorsport Ford Focuses of James Nash and Tom Chilton just missed out on the all important Q2 session on Saturday, with Nash 13th just outside the bubble and Chilton’s hot lap aborted under the red flag.
As a result, James Nash and Tom Chilton will line-up 13th and 17th for both of today’s races at Sonoma Raceway.
“I think there’s been some improvements in our car, but because it’s a new track I think that’s helped us as well,” said Nash to TouringCarTimes. “Like in Slovakia when we went really well and went to Hungary thinking we’d sorted the car out.”
Sonoma is the first all-new circuit in the WTCC since the Salzburgring back in May. Looking ahead to today’s races, Nash is aiming for a steady race to hopefully pick-up points at a circuit where a number of drivers have been struggling to keep their cars on course.
“I think there will be a few accidents, so hopefully I can keep out of them and make our car last,” said Nash.
In the first free practice session on Saturday morning, Tom Chilton was second fastest, with James Nash seventh fastest. Nash was also sixth in the morning warm-up on Sunday in similarly cooler conditions at the California circuit.
“Our car is not slow when it’s cold, it struggles a little when it’s hot,” said Chilton to TouringCarTimes.
“I’m really happy with the job the team’s done. (In FP1) when it was cold, being up in P2 was fantastic, but as the day went on we’ve gone down the grid.”
“(In qualifying) if only the red flag hadn’t come out right as I was coming through the corner on a lap that was good enough for ninth,” said Chilton. “But unfortunately it did come out – so it wasn’t meant to be.”