James Cole Scores Maiden BTCC Pole at Rockingham

by Alasdair Lindsay

James Cole secured an unexpected maiden British Touring Car Championship pole position at Rockingham, fending off a number of front wheel drive rivals to snatch first place by less than half a tenth of a second.

The battle for pole had initially been a duel between the front wheel drive pairing of Jack Goff and Tom Ingram, with Goff holding top spot in the timesheets for much of the session.

However, with only three minutes remaining, Cole shot to pole position with a time of 1:23.187. His Subaru team-mate Ash Sutton went fourth quickest, despite suffering from an overshoot at the Deene hairpin early in the session.

Immediately behind Sutton in fifth was championship leader Colin Turkington, despite carrying the maximum 75kg of ballast compared to Sutton’s 66kg.

Adam Morgan continued his positive free practice form, in which he set top ten times in both sessions earlier in the day, to qualify sixth for tomorrow’s opening race.

The remainder of the top ten was completed by manufacturer entries, with Matt Neal and Josh Cook in seventh and eighth, ahead the Vauxhall Astra of Tom Chilton, and Jason Plato ensuring there would be three Subarus in the top ten.

Gordon Shedden struggled to make an impact during the session, qualifying 16th despite carrying less success ballast than previous rounds. Rob Collard also struggled with the weight on his BMW 125i, scraping into 20th on the grid for Race 1 tomorrow.

1James ColeAdrian Flux Subaru RacingM1:23.187
2Jack GoffEurotech Racing+0.048
3Tom IngramSpeedworks Motorsport+0.082
4Ashley SuttonAdrian Flux Subaru RacingM+0.121
5Colin TurkingtonTeam BMWM+0.195
6Adam MorganCiceley Motorsport+0.198
7Matt NealHalfords Yuasa RacingM+0.263
8Josh CookMG Racing RCIB InsuranceM+0.467
9Tom ChiltonPower Maxed RacingM+0.382
10Jason PlatoAdrian Flux Subaru RacingM+0.435
11Mat JacksonMotorbase Performance+0.467
12Josh PriceAdrian Flux Subaru RacingM+0.481
13Aron Taylor-SmithMG Racing RCIB InsuranceM+0.485
14Ollie JacksonAmD Tuning+0.493
15Mike EppsAutoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing+0.509
16Gordon SheddenHalfords Yuasa RacingM+0.512
17Dave NewshamBTC Norlin Racing+0.518
18Andrew JordanBMW Pirtek RacingM+0.550
19Ant Whorton-EalesAmD Tuning+0.564
20Rob CollardTeam BMWM+0.637

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