When it was announced that Ashley Sutton would make a one-off appearance in the TCR UK Series, many assumed that he’d become one of the favourites for victory. Now, after having secured pole position by a margin of six tenths of a second, it appears as though they have been proven right.
Filling in for the absent Finlay Crocker, Sutton missed Friday’s test session and lost a lot of track time to his competitors as a result. Nonetheless, the touring car ace has seemingly adjusted to the Honda of Team Pyro with ease.
Heading into the event, championship leader Dan Lloyd was once again brandished with 60 kg of compensation weight. As such, Lloyd’s WestCoast Racing Volkswagen was not as quick or as easy to drive around the challenging Oulton Park circuit as he perhaps would’ve liked. Nevertheless, a good showing in qualifying secured his place on the front row of the grid for race one, alongside fellow BTCC regular Ash Sutton.
In third place, Lloyd’s closest challenger in the championship battle was only two tenths of a second slower. Indeed, Ollie Taylor seemed to be showing the sort of form that suggests he’ll make it very difficult for Lloyd in the upcoming races.
Elsewhere, DPE Motorsport will be relieved to have completed a session with both Alfa Romeos still running, and still in one piece. Even better, both qualified inside the top ten, with Derek Palmer jr. fifth and Robert Gilmour ninth.
Youngster Lewis Kent, meanwhile, is racing at Oulton Park for the first time in his career this weekend. Despite this, he still put in a commendable display behind the wheel of the Essex & Kent Motorsport Hyundai, doing enough to secure an eighth place grid position.
TCR UK Series debutant, Tim Docker, was still finding his feet during qualifying. Rounding out the field in eleventh place, this event is set to be a big learning curve for the former Britcar Endurance racer.