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Jake Hill tops intriguing Q1 at Silverstone

The British Touring Car Championship makes it annual visit to the home of British Motorsport, Silverstone for the penultimate round of the 2023 season.

Credit: Prescott Motorsport - Aaron Lynch

Before the action got underway for qualifying, a returning face to the championship, Bobby Thompson, stepped back into to the Paddock finish to finish the season with Team HARD. Racing.


Ronan Pearson announced he was staying with the Excelr8 Motorsport outfit for at least two more seasons, allowing the Scotsman a level of security that is almost unheard of at this level of motorsport.



Qualifying:


After twelve minutes of qualifying, most of the drivers had set a banker lap to try and drag themselves into the top ten qualifying shootout.


At the seventeen minute mark, the top five drivers consist of Ingram, Hill, Cammish, Turkington and Sutton.

Credit: Prescott Motorsport - Aaron Lynch

The Astra of Andrew Watson, who was fastest of anyone in free practise two, sat in last with engine issues at the sixteen minute mark, but re-joins the track with haste and immediately puts his Power Maxed Astra into fifth.


With the relative simplicity of the Silverstone national layout means that the gap between drivers is down to the thousands of a second.


Mikey Doble put his Power Maxed Astra into third, all but securing his place in the top ten shootout with ten minutes remaining in the session.


Dan Rowbottom and Dan Cammish in the Napa Racing Ford's both had laps disallowed due to track limits at the ten minute mark, only furthering the frustration of the Dan duo.

Credit: Prescott Motorsport - Aaron Lynch

Aron Taylor-Smith, in the third Power Maxed Astra, had his third lap disallowed at the nine minute mark forcing him back into 16th and desperately out of position.



Despite a history of success at Silverstone, Toyota Gazoo Racing UK where not looking particularly competitive or organised with George Gamble sitting in the pits waiting for front tyres in the last seven minutes of Q1.


Butcher in the Toyota gets pushed back into 11th by Chilton in the Hyundai, forcing the Scotsman back out on track to do another quick lap.


Sam Osborne in the special Valvoline 'Super touring Mondeo' inspired livery Napa Ford puts in the lap of his life to slot him into third briefly before being pushed down to fourth by a resilient Turkington in the WSR BMW 330i.


Rowbottom had yet another lap disallowed and frustratingly sits in 13th with the improvement of rivals around him with the likes of Adam Morgan in the BMW and Ricky Collard in the Toyota.

Credit: Prescott Motorsport - Aaron Lynch

Ricky Collard and Bobby Thompson respectively got black flagged for multiple track limits offenses and retires to the garage taking no further part in qualifying.


Aron Taylor-Smith finally gets a legal lap recorded and stuns the field to go second.


Sutton crosses the line in tenth with no improvement and just about squeezes into the top ten shootout.


The top ten once the dust settles:

  1. Jake Hill - 57,658

  2. Aron-Taylor Smith - +0.004

  3. Tom Ingram - +0.016

  4. Colin Turkington - +0.019

  5. Mikey Doble - +0.030

  6. Sam Osborne - +0.068

  7. Rory Butcher - +0.088

  8. Dan Cammish - +0.095

  9. Tom Chilton - +0.101

  10. Ash Sutton - +0.109



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