The Kwikfit BTCC arrived at the Knockhill Circuit in Fife for what could be a pivotal qualifying session in terms of the championship fight. The Cobra Sport AMD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing's Rory Butcher took his first ever British Touring Car pole position in front of his home crowd.
The Scotsman, who works as a performance driver at the circuit when he isn't racing, dominated the morning free practise sessions with his rivals far behind on the timesheet.
They did edge a bit closer in the qualifying session, but Butcher improved further to clock a brand new qualifying record of 50.451s. Behind Butcher, the Dynamics Honda of Dan Cammish produced a fine effort to line up on the front row and further enchance his championship challenge. Cammish has been driving superbly of late, and will be again looking to take more points from the BMW's who lead the standings.
The challenge won't be easy for the Honda's as the first of the BMW's with Andrew Jordan at the wheel will line up in third place with Tom Chilton alongside. The Motorbase Ford Focus of Chilton actually won at Knockhill last season and he'll be looking to repeat the success on race day. Rounding out the top five was Senna Proctor, with his best qualifying session of the year since moving to the BMR Subaru squad. Championship leader Colin Turkington had to make do with sixth place on the timesheets, but should be happy considering the full ballast he will be carrying for the first race. Turkington will also have back up from behind as Tom Oliphant ensures all three BMW's start at the sharp end of the grid.
Rounding out the top ten for the first of three races were Adam Morgan, Chris Smiley and Matt Neal.
Other notable mentions from the session include Aiden Moffat who produced a sterling effort in the Infiniti to give the car its best qualifying result thus far. Ashley Sutton could only manage 14th with Jason Plato and Rob Collard struggling in 15th and 22nd respectively.
Another championship challenger Josh Cook had a session to forget as he has all the work to do starting from 20th.
2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Qualifying – Knockhill
1 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance 50.451s (90.40mph) 2 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.243s 3 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +0.303s 4 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +0.349s 5 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +0.399s 6 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.403s 7 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +0.408s 8 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +0.412s 9 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Racing +0.414s 10 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.418s 11 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Team Toyota GB with Ginsters +0.440s 12 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.503s 13 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker Racing +0.521s 14 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +0.559s 15 Jason PLATO (GBR) Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing +0.566s 16 Mike BUSHELL (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance +0.595s 17 Jake HILL (GBR) TradePriceCars.com +0.603s 18 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +0.725s 19 Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Cataclean Racing with Ciceley Motorsport +0.759s 20 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +0.764s 21 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +0.822s 22 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing +0.971s 23 Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct+1.006s 24 Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +1.153s 25 Jack GOFF (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +1.169s 26 Michael CREES (GBR) GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct +1.190s 27 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with Motorbase +1.428s 28 Rob SMITH (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +1.558s 29 Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +1.786s 30 Mark BLUNDELL (GBR) TradePriceCars.com +2.486s