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Ashley Sutton takes maiden pole in eventful qualifying

MG’s Ashley Sutton scored a maiden British Touring Car Championship pole position in a changeable qualifying session at Donington Park, which saw the pace-setter switch continually in drying conditions.

Sutton hit the top of the times in the final minutes of a session which was twice red-flagged, ultimately ending when Motorbase Performance’s Mat Jackson, who had also briefly been fastest, ended the session in the Old Hairpin gravel trap.

The decision to throw the red flags for a second time handed Sutton a sensational pole in only his second BTCC meeting, ahead of MG team-mate Josh Cook in second who, although never top of the times, was always in the mix.

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Sutton’s pole remains provisional, as his time was allegedly posted after the yellow flags for Jackson’s off had come out.

Honda’s Gordon Shedden ended the session in fourth, despite having had his early times deleted for failing the ride-height check. The Scot was the fastest driver when the red flags flew with just two minutes to go, before losing out when the session resumed.

Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram continued to show he had pace and was fifth, having traded top times throughout the session.

WSR’s Rob Collard, one of the first to switch to slick tyres, was sixth, ahead of BKR’s Árón Smith in seventh and the second BMW of Jack Goff in eighth.

Honda’s Matt Neal and Team HARD’s Jake Hill completed the top ten, over two seconds off the pace as times tumbled at the end of the session.

One of the biggest losers when the session resumed was WSR’s Sam Tordoff. The BMW driver had been trading top times until the final stoppage, but ended the session down in 21st after failing to improve when the session resumed.

Team BMR’s Colin Turkington had been threatening to qualifying inside the top five, but the Subaru driver ultimately ended up 11th fastest, ahead of team-mates James Cole in 12th and Jason Plato in 13th.

Andrew Jordan was another driver to suffer with the late red flag, ending the session down in 25th despite having also been top of the times earlier on.

Qualifying times

1 116 M Ashley SUTTON MG Racing RCIB Insurance MG6GT 18 1:11.729
2 66 M Josh COOK MG Racing RCIB Insurance MG6GT 18 1:12.223 0.494
3 7 Mat JACKSON Motorbase Performance Ford Focus 17 1:12.261 0.532
4 52 M Gordon SHEDDEN Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 17 1:12.318 0.589
5 80 Tom INGRAM Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis 15 1:13.006 1.277
6 100 C Rob COLLARD Team JCT600 with GardX BMW 125i M Sport 18 1:13.139 1.410
7 40 Árón SMITH BKR Volkswagen CC 17 1:13.184 1.455
8 31 C Jack GOFF Team IHG Rewards Club BMW 125i M Sport 17 1:13.447 1.718
9 25 M Matt NEAL Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 18 1:13.880 2.151
10 24 Jake HILL RCIB Insurance Racing Toyota Avensis 15 1:13.993 2.264
11 4 M Colin TURKINGTON Subaru Team BMR Subaru Levorg GT 14 1:14.160 2.431
12 55 Jeff SMITH Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Type R 14 1:14.291 2.562
13 53 Hunter ABBOTT Power Maxed Racing Chevrolet Cruze 15 1:14.790 3.061
14 33 Adam MORGAN WIX Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class 16 1:15.078 3.349
15 11 Rob AUSTIN Handy Motorsport Toyota Avensis 12 1:15.163 3.434
16 39 M Warren SCOTT Subaru Team BMR Subaru Levorg GT 17 1:15.430 3.701
17 20 M James COLE Subaru Team BMR Subaru Levorg GT 16 1:15.774 4.045
18 99 M Jason PLATO Subaru Team BMR Subaru Levorg GT 14 1:15.931 4.202
19 48 Ollie JACKSON AmD Tuning Audi S3 15 1:16.271 4.542
20 17 Dan WELCH Goodestone Racing Proton Persona 14 1:16.681 4.952
21 600 C Sam TORDOFF Team JCT600 with GardX BMW 125i M Sport 18 1:16.861 5.132
22 303 Matt SIMPSON Speedworks Motorsport Honda Civic Type R 18 1:16.911 5.182
23 16 Aiden MOFFAT Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class 15 1:17.000 5.271
24 12 Mike EPPS RCIB Insurance Racing Toyota Avensis 17 1:17.214 5.485
25 77 Andrew JORDAN Motorbase Performance Ford Focus 13 1:17.272 5.543
26 30 Martin DEPPER Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Type R 18 1:17.645 5.916
27 14 Alex MARTIN Dextra Racing with Team Parker Ford Focus 16 1:17.714 5.985
28 22 Chris SMILEY TLC Racing Toyota Avensis 14 1:20.875 9.146
29 95 Stewart LINES Maximum Motorsport Ford Focus 18 1:20.946 9.217
30 38 Mark HOWARD BKR Volkswagen CC  0 No time N/A

Complete session results

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