Simpson Racing driver Matt Simpson has taken his maiden pole position in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park with a 1:25.750, two tenths ahead of his nearest rival in second.
Simpson channelled his practice two pace by setting his fastest time with a considerable amount of time left in the session. Despite the best attempts of his rivals, the time was not to be beaten.
Sam Tordoff will line-up second ahead of fellow Ford Focus RS driver Tom Chilton and with James Cole in eighth, it has been a great Saturday for the Motorbase run Fords.
Matt Neal looked set to gain pole with five minutes left to run with a purple first sector. However, the remainder of the lap wasn’t as quick and he remained just outside of the top three. His second flyer was ruined by a lock-up heading into Lodge Corner. Neal will line-up fifth.
Fastest of the rear-wheel drive runners was Andrew Jordan in fourth. The fastest BMW was expected to be Colin Turkington but he will line up just within the top ten in ninth.
Sixth and seventh went the way of WIX Racing with Eurotech team-mates Jack Goff and Brett Smith. With a car capable of a strong pace as proven by Simpson, they could be two drivers on a mission in the first race on Sunday.
Tom Oliphant set his best time near the end of the session to end up in tenth, the best of the Mercedes-Benz runners.
The top three drivers in the championship standings all struggled with ballast on-board their cars. Leader Adam Morgan could only manage ninteenth one place ahead of Josh Cook whom coincidentally is second in the championship. Tom Ingram will line up seventeenth.
The Alfa Romeo of Rob Austin which was fastest in first practice finished eleventh ahead of Rob Collard in twelfth, Chris Smiley in thirteenth and the second Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda of Dan Cammish in fourteenth.
Reigning champion Ashley Sutton lines up fifteenth just in front of Aiden Moffat in sixteenth.
The returning Dan Lloyd qualified in twenty-second carrying the ballast that all drivers who come in partway through a season must carry in their first weekend.
Talking to btcc.net. Matt Simpson said, “I joked on the track walk yesterday that I’d never started on the flat here, I’ve always had to go up hill.
“With the soft tyre on, the ideal tyre, we’re looking good and it gives me a good chance tomorrow. It really is a dream come true.”
|11th||Rob Austin||Alfa Romeo||+0.562|