Colin Turkington grabbed a sublime pole position for the final Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship meeting of the season at Brands Hatch GP, in a qualifying session tainted by a downpour.
The final qualifying session of the 2016 season looked set to go the way of Tom Ingram after rain hit during a stoppage following a crash for Aron Smith, but drying conditions set up a thrilling conclusion to the 30-minute encounter.
Speedworks Motorsport‘s Ingram set initial pace, toppling Subaru’s Jason Plato in the early minutes held in dry conditions after several showers hit the circuit earlier in the day.
Action was brought to an abrupt halt after seven minute however, Smith’s Volkswagen CC dramatically tipping onto its side after sliding through the gravel at Hawthorns.
Rain arrived in abundance during the stoppage, making any attempts to improve times impossible for the following 15 minutes before the track surface slowly began to improve.
With five minutes to go, Turkington’s Subaru Levorg GT finally bettered Ingram’s effort by almost a full second, improving further to a time of 1m31.838s to grab his third pole position of the season.
Ingram improved late on to secure second by a mere 0.006s, Rob Austin heading up row two in a second Toyota Avensis with a fine effort ahead of Plato in the second Silverline Subaru Team BMR Levorg.
Hunter Abbott grabbed a superb fifth place for Power Maxed Racing, Josh Cook next up for MG ahead of Jack Goff in the lead West Surrey Racing BMW 125i.
Reigning champion Gordon Shedden was next up in eighth place, Adam Morgan and Aiden Moffat‘s Mercedes A-Class machines rounding out the top 10 ahead of series leader, Sam Tordoff.
Matt Neal lines up alongside him in the second Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type-R, while a gearbox problem almost proved consequential for another of the title contenders, Rob Collard. The WSR man failed to set a lap in dry conditions, but climbed to 13th as the grip began to improve.
Mat Jackson‘s title aspirations took a knock however, qualifying 20th on the grid while Motorbase Performance team-mate Andrew Jordan will start 14th.