ALEX DENNING GRABS MAIDEN POLE AT SNETTERTON
Alex Denning became the fifth driver in five rounds to secure pole in the 2022 Quaife MINI CHALLENGE after topping the times in qualifying at Snetterton.
The Graves Motorsport racer made the trip to Norfolk on the back of his first win in the series at Knockhill and would top the majority of the session – which was held in sweltering conditions and with track temperatures reaching into the mid 30s.
The vast majority of quick laps would come early in the session when tyre performance was at its best, with points leader Sam Weller grabbing provisional pole on his first timed lap before Denning went four-tenths of a second quicker to set a new benchmark time.
With the high temperatures resulting in a rapid drop-off in performance from the tyres, Denning’s time would prove to be unbeatable even when Weller managed to improve slightly to cement his spot on the front row.
“To get the win at Knockhill and then come here and stick the car on pole is great,” Denning admitted. “In my opinion, the tyres were only good for one lap and you were chasing the tyres after that, so I knew it was going to be a one lap wonder.
“We’ll make a few changes for race one to deal with the conditions but I’m confident we’ll have a strong race car as well.”
Denning also scored the six bonus points for pole ahead of Weller, who admitted he didn’t fully hook up his quickest lap going into what he feels will be a race of attrition, with Lewis Brown taking third spot as he chases a repeat of his victory at the circuit last year.
“That’s massive for me from a confidence point of view as we’ve had a rough season,” he said. “I won here from third on the grid last season and a repeat would be nice, but it would be great if we could just bring home a podium finish.”
Brown will be joined on the second row of the grid by Jack Mitchell as he seeks to make up the ground lost at Knockhill, with the top six rounded out by Jason Lockwood and Max Coates.
Lockwood was forced to sit out the opening five minutes of the session for a practice indiscretion and would also lose a quick time to track limits, with defending champion Dan Zelos and double Knockhill winner Ronan Pearson sharing row four behind.
Joe Tanner and Kyle Reid then rounded out the top ten for the opening 20 minute race of the weekend, which is scheduled for 16:40.