Turkington takes pole in truncated qualifying session

by Stuart Richards
Colin Turkington BTCC 2019

Colin Turkington has taken pole position for the first race at Donington Park tomorrow in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship following a qualifying session which saw three red flag stoppages and a myriad of weather changes.

The story of qualifying can just be summed up within the first ten minutes as the unknown of rainfall meant that all the drivers wanted to go out and set their fastest times early. This was where Turkington set his time of 1:09.871 which wasn’t to be bettered in the remaining twenty minutes.

The first stoppage was caused by Bobby Thompson beaching his Volkswagen CC in the gravel at the Old Hairpin. The issues that these red flags caused was that cars had to regain tyre temperature out of the pits on a circuit which may have picked up moisture when there was no action. Therefore despite encouragement of further improvement, Turkington’s time wasn’t going to be bettered.

Second position went to championship leader Josh Cook who is carrying the maximum success ballast. There was a hairy moment for the 2018 Donington polesitter as he lost control of his BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R across the grass at the Old Hairpin and was almost collected by Rory Butcher. Thankfully they both avoided each other.

The second red flag occurred with just five minutes left to run when Nicolas Hamilton got stuck in the gravel at the exit of the Old Hairpin. It was only on the previous lap that Nic got away with a similar pirouette on the same part of the track.

In the ensuing five minute dash to get a faster lap time in, Mark Blundell went off the circuit causing the third red flag and the end of qualifying.

Behind the leading pair, Ashley Sutton took a strong third place ahead of practice two pace setter Chris Smiley in fourth in what was a fantastic session for BTC Racing.

Fifth went to Sam Tordoff who is making up for a bitterly disappointing weekend last time out. Sam is to line up ahead of Tom Ingram in sixth and the Halfords Yuasa Racing duo of Dan Cammish and Matt Neal in seventh and eighth respectively.

Tom Oliphant is to line up ninth ahead of Rob Collard who did well to close out the top ten for tomorrow’s action.

Elsewhere down the field it was a bad session for Andrew Jordan who had laps disallowed for track limit offences. The BMW Pirtek Racing man starts sixteenth.

Second in the championship, Tom Chilton took thirteenth whilst Jason Plato lines up just ahead of him in twelfth. Rory Butcher will start nineteenth after not getting a lap time in during the vital first ten minutes of the session. Senna Proctor struggled to twenty-first just ahead of Jake Hill in twenty-second.

With another session dominated by mixed conditions, it’s unknown what we’re going to expect tomorrow for rounds four, five and six of the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship. Fingers crossed for another Sunday of various winners and top circuit action live on ITV4.

1Colin TurkingtonBMW 330i M Sport1:09.871
2Josh CookHonda Civic Type R+0.644
3Ashley SuttonSubaru Levorg GT+0.664
4Chris SmileyHonda Civic Type R+0.767
5Sam TordoffHonda Civic Type R+0.779
6Tom IngramToyota Corolla GT+0.820
7Dan CammishHonda Civic Type R+0.829
8Matt NealHonda Civic Type R+0.842
9Tom OliphantBMW 330i M Sport+0.902
10Rob CollardVauxhall Astra+0.997
11Ollie JacksonFord Focus RS+1.020
12Jason PlatoVauxhall Astra+1.034
13Tom ChiltonFord Focus RS+1.144
14Adam MorganMercedes Benz A-Class+1.148
15Aiden MoffatMercedes Benz A-Class+1.260
16Andrew JordanBMW 330i M Sport+1.375
17Stephen JelleyBMW 125i M Sport+1.412
18Matt SimpsonHonda Civic Type R+1.638
19Rory ButcherHonda Civic Type R+1.683
20Jack GoffVolkswagen CC+1.747
21Senna ProctorSubaru Levorg GT+1.792
22Jake HillAudi S3 Saloon+1.806
23Rob SmithMG6 GT+1.823
24Michael CreesVolkswagen CC+1.989
25Carl BoardleyVolkswagen CC+2.061
26Nicolas HamiltonFord Focus RS+2.888
27Daniel RowbottomMercedes Benz A-Class+2.996
28Sam OsborneMG6 GT+3.291
29Mark BlundellAudi S3 Saloon+5.702
30Bobby ThompsonVolkswagen CCNo Time

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