Sam Osborne pleased with qualifying personal best

Sam Osborne was left over the moon after qualifying for the BTCC season opener at Donington Park having secured the best result of his career to date.

The MB Motorsport driver was a surprise name towards the sharp end of the grid in the early stages of qualifying at the East Midlands circuit as he ran in the top seven after the first runs had been completed, ahead of more experienced team-mate Jake Hill.

Whilst Hill would then improve to put his Honda seventh on the grid for the opening race on Sunday, Osborne slipped back to twelfth spot by the end but that still marked his best qualifying result by far; his previous best having been 23rd in EXCELR8’s MG6 at Croft last season.

“It was looking a lot better at the start of the session when I was up in the top seven before dropping back to twelfth but it’s been great for me on first outing with the team and my first weekend in the car,” he said. “It’s been mega, and there is plenty to look forward to.

“It’s a lovely car to drive and the team has really got it dialled in; the balance gives you so much confidence and it really is a brilliant bit of kit. The guys have a fantastic set-up on it and hopefully I can break away with the front pack and race with them on Sunday.”

Team-mate Hill meanwhile was also pleased despite the mid-season red flag preventing him from potentially finishing higher up the order.

“That was a rapid session,” he said. “To see the lap record falling throughout the day, the level of ability in the field is very high this year so I’m pleased with a P7 starting position for tomorrow. Of course, it was frustrating that the red flag curtailed our chances a little bit but we’d been a bit back and forth with a few issues throughout the day so to close out in the top-ten, I’m really happy with.”