The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship Qualifying session was held in unpredictable conditions at Donington Park this afternoon as the combination of wind and rain played havoc with several drivers.
Team BMW's Colin Turkington set the early pace when the circuit was arguably in its best condition, clocking an impressive 1.09.871. The rain came into play shortly after,which halted a lot of drivers progress up the order. There was also another spanner thrown in the works for many of the teams as they had to deal with three red flag stoppages throughout the qualifying session. Mark Blundell, Bobby Thompson and Nic Hamilton all fell foul of the tricky conditions and buried themselves in the Donington gravel traps.
Championship leader Josh Cook managed to put his Honda Civic second on the grid, some six tenths shy of Turkington due to the ever-changing conditions. Ashley Sutton was pleased to qualify in third, stating that the circuit wasn't best suited to his Subaru Levorg machine. More pleasing news for BTC Racing as Chris Smiley backed up the teams impressive pace by qualifying fourth for tomorrow's opening encounter and AMD's Sam Tordoff rounded out the top ten. Tordoff in particular will be wanting to set the record straight after a rather dismal Brands Hatch weekend last time out.
Turkington has given the new BMW 3-Series it's first pole position in the series and with the car being ballast free. The Northern Irishman will be the man to beat come tomorrow.
Elsewhere on the grid, Turkington's team mates Tom Oliphant and Andrew Jordan will line up in 9th and 16th respectively and will both be looking to make progress up the order.
The Honda Yuasa pairing of Matt Neal and Dan Cammish line up 7th and 8th with nothing to separate the two. Both drivers will be looking to improve on what was an eventful opening weekend for the team.
The Speedworks Toyota of Tom Ingram looked feisty and will start from 6th and Rob Collard in the PMR Vauxhall Astra completes the top 10 with his team mate Jason Plato not far behind in 12th.
With many drivers being out of position, tomorrow looks set to be another vintage day of touring car racing and with the weather looking a lot more settled for race day, means teams can fully concentrate on the job in hand and not have to keep an eye on the sky.
Who will be at the top of the BTCC tree come Sunday night?
1 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW 1m09.871s (101.96mph) 2 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +0.644s 3 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +0.664s 4 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Racing +0.767s 5 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance +0.779s 6 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Team Toyota GB with Ginsters +0.820s 7 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.829s 8 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.842s 9 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +0.902s 10 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing +0.997s 11 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +1.020s 12 Jason PLATO (GBR) Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing +1.034s 13 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +1.144s 14 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +1.148s 15 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +1.260s 16 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +1.375s 17 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker Racing +1.412s 18 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +1.638s 19 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance +1.683s 20 Jack GOFF (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +1.747s 21 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +1.792s 22 Jake HILL (GBR) TradePriceCars.com +1.806s 23 Rob SMITH (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +1.823s 24 Michael CREES (GBR) GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct +1.989s 25 Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +2.061s 26 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with Motorbase +2.888s 27 Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Cataclean Racing with Ciceley Motorsport +2.996s 28 Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +3.291s 29 Mark BLUNDELL (GBR) TradePriceCars.com +5.702s 30 Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct NO TIME