Mark Cole in qualifying at SilverstonePaul Rees put his Parr Motorsport prepared Porsche right in the mix for rounds 13 & 14 taking place at Silverstone this weekend.

The Oxford-based driver was on it from the get go, setting a time three tenths faster than the 2014 pole position time on lap three. The problem was a number of other cars improved on that time too. An even faster time on his second set of tyres was scuppered when a slower car got in his way at Brooklands resulting in a P6 start for race one an P7 for race two.

“Straight away the car felt pretty good,” said Paul. “I’m amazed at the pace. The pole time last year was a 56 dead. When I crossed the line with a 55.7 in the first session I was pretty amazed by that but very happy. We came in from the first set of tyres in P3 and I waited. I wanted to wait until the last minute. I was confident and we stuck to the plan. I was four tenths of a second up when unfortunately I got blocked by Mr Jennings and I went into the back of him very slightly but it cost me the lap. These tyres have a very small window so a possible pole position for sure was ruined.”

“On the first set Paul was really going well,” added team boss Paul Robe. ‘He was hundredths off the pole time and we were third overall on the first set. On the second set he got held up a bit and we didn’t improve enough to push us up the grid. It’s very close at the top. I know we are in a strong place for the race but Silverstone is very difficult to overtake given that is it a small circuit so it is going to be tight.”

Mark Cole had a similar story having set a very good pace on his opening lap to cross the line with a 56.2 second lap. He was also surprised with the increased pace over 2014 and was hoping his time was good enough for a top ten grid slot. As it was, he would finish just outside, starting fourteenth for race one and twelfth for race two. Crucially, that put him fourth in ProAm1 for race one and second for race two with another podium double firmly in his sights.

“I’m a bit disappointed in the overall pace despite the second place,” said Mark. “I delivered a 56.2 Given that last year’s pole was a 56 dead you think you’re on it for PA1 but I’m really shocked how competitive the grid is. It’s ever so close here. Having followed Gelzinis closely I could see I was loosing two or three tenths at Becketts and that’s down to me so potentially there could have been a 55.9 or a 56 dead on the cards but I didn’t deliver it. A couple of places on the grid here is critical but it is what it is and the championship has been the toughest it has ever been. It just seems to get tougher. It’s good for the spirit because it pushes you.”

Team boss Paul Robe was enthusiastic about Mark’s performance. “Mark did a good job. He’s starting the first race lower than he would have liked but he’s had a good go at Witt all season and he’s in a very good position. In race two he’s in front of him and P2 on the grid so I think he should be reasonably happy with that and have a good race.”

Race one starts at 10:15 with race two following at 15:55. Both races will be shown live on ITV4.