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.
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.
|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|