Avon Tyres National FF1600 Championship leader Niall Murray put a subdued ninth place qualifying result at Croft down to misreading the rainy conditions, sending him the wrong way on setup.
Light rain fell during the opening minutes of the session but became worse with ten minutes remaining, the slippery conditions contributing to an accident for Nico Gruber that triggered a red flag.
Going only ninth quickest before the stoppage, 0.968s off eventual polesitter Josh Smith, any chance to improve was stopped by a rain-soaked track.
“I think I misread the conditions a bit at the start, thinking it was a bit wetter than it was. I wanted to come in and change the setup but wasn’t going to have time,” said Murray.
“I should have in hindsight.”
His initial qualifying runs were also compromised slightly by giving his Dolan team-mates Matt Round-Garrido and Jack Wolfenden a slipstream, without him taking a turn at the rear of the queue for extra speed.
“I also towed both the around and unfortunately I couldn’t back off and let them ahead, as I’d have lost a lap. I knew there was only one or two laps left in the dry. It’s just the way it is.”
Though Murray’s qualifying did not go to plan, Jack Wolfenden showed an improved turn of pace in his second race weekend since switching from a Firman to a Van Diemen, the chassis make his more experienced team-mate Murray uses.
Wolfenden was only 0.137s faster than Murray but that small gap was enough to put him fifth on the grid for this afternoon’s first race, having had time to bed into the Van Diemen chassis.
“It was hard to get used to the first round but I think I’m getting a bit better now,” said Wolfenden.
“The car seems good around here but the fact I was able to go out with Niall and Matt and follow them, that certainly helped.”