The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season got back underway at the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk after what felt a very long summer break.
It was Tom Ingram and his Speedworks Toyota Corolla who sensationally took pole for the weekends first race with a time of 1:54.737. That time was just 0.002s better off than the Team Dynamics Honda of Dan Cammish, who had been topping the times in the earlier morning sessions.
Sam Tordoff in the And Tuning Honda Civic was the "best of the rest" as he posted the third best time of the session just in front of the Motorbase Ford Focus of Tom Chilton. One of the surprises of the session was that the all conquering BMW of Colin Turkington, could only manage the fifth best time in the session. The Northern Irishman will start just in front of the Power Maxed Vauxhall of Jason Plato, who looks to be really hitting the sweet spot with the setup of that machine and will be looking to march on forward in the races.
Andrew Jordan in the Pirtek BMW will be looking to move forward and do damage, but has work to do as he posted the seventh fastest time of the session. Matt Neal, Adam Morgan and Rob Collard round out the top ten order for the first of the three races.
Some more notable mentions elsewhere on the grid as Jake Hill will start from 14th, the BTC Racing pairing of Chris Smiley and Josh Cook will start from 13th and 19th respectively and Stephen Jelley did not set a time in the session and will start from the back on the grid.
Tom Ingram spoke of his delight at pole position, to BTCC.net:
“It’s fantastic and I’m so pleased. We’ve been quietly going about trying to understand everything about the car just nibbling away. We’ve found some amazing things at the tyre test and ticked a lot of things off that we wanted to try. Everyone will have made a step, and we’ve gone another step further still. A heck of a lot of work has gone in behind the scenes. It’s great to get the Corolla’s first pole and the first on Team Toyota GB’s BTCC return. It’s always close here and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. I’ll sleep tonight as I’ve got that monkey off my back!”
So we've seen how the first half of the season panned out, now all the talking stops once again as we go racing for the second half of the 2019 season.
2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Qualifying – Snetterton
1 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Team Toyota GB with Ginsters 1m54.737s (93.15mph) 2 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.002s 3 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance +0.286s 4 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +0.447s 5 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.593s 6 Jason PLATO (GBR) Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing +0.626s 7 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +0.631s 8 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.706s 9 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +0.926s 10 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing +0.975s 11 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance +0.986s 12 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +0.989s 13 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Racing +0.990s 14 Jake HILL (GBR) TradePriceCars.com +1.003s 15 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +1.092s 16 Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct +1.121s 17 Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Cataclean Racing with Ciceley Motorsport +1.223s 18 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +1.249s 19 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +1.253s 20 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +1.253s 21 Jack GOFF (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +1.793s 22 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with Motorbase +1.920s 23 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +1.949s 24 Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +2.379s 25 Michael CREES (GBR) GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct +2.477s 26 Mark BLUNDELL (GBR) TradePriceCars.com +2.611s 27 Rob SMITH (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +2.663s 28 Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +3.075s 29 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +3.408s 30 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker Racing NO TIME