A sensational Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship qualifying session at Oulton Park saw history made, as Colin Turkington scored a first pole position for Subaru.
The result from the 30-minute qualifying session in Cheshire completed a remarkable turnaround for the Team BMR squad, who were forced to withdraw their Subaru Levorg quartet from the previous meeting’s three races at Thruxton on safety grounds.
Both Turkington and fellow double BTCC champion Jason Plato showed their intent early by placing themselves within the top four for much of the session, a further indication that recent developments would indeed bring them to the fore at Oulton Park as threatened.
Turkington’s early effort of 1m26.264s was a time which would not be beaten, the top five separated by less than a tenth of a second and the top 22 by less than a second as the flag waved to signal the end of qualifying.
Practice pace-setter Tom Ingram sat second despite a brake problem losing him 10 minutes of on-track time in the session initially, but a spectacular effort from Eurotech Racing‘s Daniel Lloyd planted the Honda Civic Type-R on the front row alongside Turkington’s Levorg.
Sam Tordoff demoted Ingram to fourth, Gordon Shedden next up ahead of Plato who fell to sixth late on. Ashley Sutton was best of the Triple Eight Racing MGs in seventh ahead of championship leader Matt Neal, while Aron Smith (Volkswagen) and Josh Cook (MG) rounded out the top 10.
Hunter Abbott again impressed with 11th in the Power Maxed Racing Chevrolet Cruze, while Rob Collard could only plant his West Surrey Racing BMW – carrying maximum success ballast – 16th on the grid ahead of team-mate Jack Goff, who lost his best time for exceeding track limits.
It was a foul also committed by Mat Jackson, the Motorbase Performance man finishing just 25th of the 32 runners, while Adam Morgan also endured a difficult session in 27th after a hat-trick of podium finishes at Thruxton.