Supreme Sutton sails to Brands Hatch pole

by Stuart Richards
Ash Sutton BTCC 2019

Ashley Sutton is 2019’s first Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship pole sitter following a blistering performance in very tricky conditions.

Sutton’s time of 53.602s set halfway through the session was not bettered despite other drivers running him close with plenty of time remaining. However, the Adrian Flux Subaru Racing man would not be denied his fifth career pole position.

New regulations for qualifying outlined that if a driver causes a red flag during the session, their best time would be deleted and they will miss out on the remainder of the action. Three drivers fell foul of this new rule.

First with just five minutes of the session gone was Ollie Jackson who buried his Ford Focus RS in the gravel trap at Clark Curve.

Second was a huge shock to many who tipped him for pole when Sam Tordoff’s Honda Civic Type R was beached in the Druids gravel trap. Just four minutes after the green flag waved following Sam’s misdemeanour, Mark Blundell had stopped in the same place.

Behind Sutton for tomorrow’s grid is Jason Plato in an absolutely superb return to form. Plato will be ahead of the Team BMW duo of Colin Turkington and Tom Oliphant in third and fourth.

Fifth and sixth went to the Halfords Yuasa Racing pairing of Matt Neal and Dan Cammish who did show impressive speed but weren’t able to string two fastest sector times together to get them further up the grid.

Seventh went to Team Toyota GB with Ginsters driver Tom Ingram in the new Toyota Corolla GT ahead of the impressive Stephen Jelley in eighth. Jelley managed to beat a new BMW 330i M Sport as practice one leader Andrew Jordan could only end the session in ninth.

Despite the deletion of his fastest time, Sam Tordoff had already done enough to round out the top ten for the first race of the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.

ADDENDUM: Stephen Jelley was disqualified from qualifying after he failed the post-qualifying ride height check.

Andrew Jordan was given fourth on the grid after a time which qualified him in that position was wrongly cancelled following a red flag.

1Ashley SuttonSubaru Levorg GT53.602
2Jason PlatoVauxhall Astra+0.167
3Colin TurkingtonBMW 330i M Sport+0.171
4Andrew JordanBMW 330i M Sport+0.250
5Tom OliphantBMW 330i M Sport+0.302
6Matt NealHonda Civic Type R+0.340
7Dan CammishHonda Civic Type R+0.346
8Tom IngramToyota Corolla GT+0.383
9Sam TordoffHonda Civic Type R+0.485
10Josh CookHonda Civic Type R+0.573
11Rory ButcherHonda Civic Type R+0.584
12Chris SmileyHonda Civic Type R+0.586
13Tom ChiltonFord Focus RS+0.600
14Matt SimpsonHonda Civic Type R+0.629
15Jake HillAudi S3 Saloon+0.663
16Rob CollardVauxhall Astra+0.665
17Senna ProctorSubaru Levorg GT+0.850
18Jack GoffVolkswagen CC+1.002
19Bobby ThompsonVolkswagen CC+1.088
20Nicolas HamiltonFord Focus RS+1.091
21Daniel RowbottomMercedes Benz A-Class+1.113
22Adam MorganMercedes Benz A-Class+1.185
23Aiden MoffatMercedes Benz A-Class+1.233
24Michael CreesVolkswagen CC+1.515
25Rob SmithMG6 GT+1.593
26Sam OsborneMG6 GT+1.941
27Ollie JacksonFord Focus RS+2.219
28Mark BlundellAudi S3 Saloon+2.222
29Carl BoardleyVolkswagen CC+2.298
30Stephen JelleyBMW 125i M SportDSQ

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