L&T Motorsport

BTCC Qualifying: Brands Hatch GP Circuit

After unstable weather in free practice which saw Josh Cook top the time sheets, qualifying for the title decider started in similar unpredictable conditions.

Just two minutes into the session rain started to speckle the windscreens of the early starters, which included the WSR BMW’s of Tordoff and Collard. There was a potential problem with Collard’s car who pitted unexpectedly after his out lap, with his unprepared mechanics jacking the car up and inspecting the undercarriage. The car was fixed with Collard later reporting to only being able to select third gear.

On the 26 minute mark, a mad scramble of cars left the pit lane, anxious to set a half decent time should the heavens open and ruin any chance of setting a fast time.

Mat Jackson looked to be on an absolute mission in his Motorbase Focus and was visually irate with slower drivers not getting out of his way quick enough.

 

Westfield corner saw the most of the drizzle and there was a hairy moment for Jeff Smith as his Civic stepped sideways due to cold tyres and a slippy track..

Josh Cook was again at the top with a time of 1:34.688 for a short time before a flurry of drivers crossed the line and Tom Ingram posted a time of 1:33:478.

Ingram stayed there for a while as Aron Smith lost control at Hawthorn, entered the gravel trap and flipped the car onto it’s side as the tyres dug in. This prompted the red flags to wave and the session was stopped whilst Smith’s Passat was righted.

The rain continued to fall as the session was green flagged and provisional pole sitter, Tom Ingram, returned to the pits after the out lap realising that no one would better his time in the current conditions and staying out would just jeopardize his chances of staying on track.

Collard was the man under pressure at the restart as his earlier gearbox problem had prevented him from setting a lap time and his rear wheel drive BMW was struggling in the slippy conditions.

Conditions started to improve with ten minutes of the session left but Collards times were still way off the pace, his time 28th on the grid.

Tom Ingram returned to the track with 9 minutes left of the session and many drivers starting to improve their lap times from this set in the drizzle.

Meanwhile, Colin Turkington moved to third place and then set a best session time in the first and second sectors as the track continued to evolve and went on to post a 1:32:422 to go provisional pole and beat Ingrams time by a full second.

The Subaru continued to improve as did Collard and many other drivers and a rapid exchange of grid positions ensued, far too many for this old timer to keep up with.

Ash Sutton had THREE lap times removed for exceeding track limits.

Tom Ingram came out in diminishing conditions with just a couple of minutes left and was looking rapid despite the precipitation. Ultimately though, it was the flying Levorg of Colin Tukington that stole the pole with Ingram just six thousandths of a second behind him.

Rob Collard recovered from his sliding antics to go 13th, with team mate Tordoff in a very respectable 11th considering his car was carrying maximum ballast.

Rob Austin finished 3rd, Plato 4th, and the Power Maxed Chevy of Hunter Abbott 5th.

The Hondas of Shedden and Neal finished 8th and 12th respectively.

Despite his early aggression, Mat Jackson was 1.7 seconds behind pole and starts his Motorbase Focus in 20th.

Here’s the full quali positions for race one and it’s a nicely mixed bag. Popcorn at the ready for tomorrow!!

 

  1. Colin Turkington. Silverline Subaru BMR Racing          1:31:838
  2. Tom Ingram.          Speedworks Motorsport                     +0.006
  3. Rob Austin             Handy Motorsport                                +0.214
  4. Jason Plato             Silverline Subaru BMR Racing         + 0.221
  5. Hunter Abbott       Power Maxed Racing                          + 0.228
  6. Josh Cook               MG Racing RCIB Insurance              + 0.258
  7. Jack Goff                 Team IHG Rewards Club                    +0.366
  8. Gordon Shedden    Halfords Yuasa Racing                       +0.482
  9. Adam Morgan        WIX Racing                                           +0.553
  10. Aiden Moffat          Laser Tools Racing                               +0.743
  11. Sam Tordoff           Team JCT600 with GardX                 +0.849
  12. Matt Neal                Halfords Yuasa Racing                        +1.019
  13. Robert Collard       Team JCT600 with GardX                  +1.142
  14. Andrew Jordan      Pirtek Racing                                         +1.247
  15. Michael Epps         RCIB Insurance Racing                       +1.257
  16. Ashley Sutton        MG Racing RCIB Insurance                +1.261
  17. Ollie Jackson         AmD Tuning.com                                  +1.541
  18. Matt Simpson       Speedworks Motorsport                       +1.563
  19. Martin Depper     Eurotech Racing                                     +1.578
  20. Mat Jackson         Motorbase Performance                       +1.725
  21. Jake Hill                RCIB Insurance racing                         +2.065
  22. James Cole           Silverline Subaru BMR Racing            +2.247
  23. Warren Scott       Silverline Subaru BMR Racing            +2.726
  24. Aron Smith          BKR                                                           +2.900
  25. Alex Martin         Dextra Racing with Team Parker         +2.955
  26. Kelvin Fletcher   Power Maxed Racing                              +3.130
  27. Tony Gilham       TLB/RCIB Insurance Racing               +3.984
  28. Daniel Welch      Goodestone Racing                                 +4.041
  29. Mark Howard     BKR                                                            +5.050
  30. Jeff Smith           Eurotech Racing                                       +5.691
  31. Stewart Lines     Maximum Motorsport                            +6.428

 

 

Dean Roscoe

BTCC Correspondent

 

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