Fabrizio Giovanardi blamed the high temperatures at Oulton Park today for his inability to challenge for pole position in British Touring Car qualifying.
The Italian set the pace in morning practice, but was nearly three quarters of a second slower in qualifying on his way to sixth place on the grid.
"It wasn't the start I wanted for this weekend," the defending champion said. "I think it was the change of weather that has been the biggest issue. Our car is longer than the others and suffered more on the front tyres.
"This morning, and even in testing, when it was colder, it was a completely different car. It is definitely the heat that is the biggest challenge."
Giovanardi and his team-mates Andrew Jordan and Matt Neal, who qualified eighth and 10th, all said that the set-ups of their cars will need some drastic alterations for raceday.