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Ashley Sutton claims second pole as title contenders struggle

Ashley Sutton maintained the MG6 GT’s impressive record around the 1.64 mile national circuit at Silverstone as the Jack Sears Trophy leader claimed a second career pole in the penultimate qualifying session of the season.

Sutton, who set a fastest lap time of 53.321 seconds in the  middle stages of the thirty-minute session, will head up the front row alongside Tom Ingram, who retains his record as the best qualifier of the campaign with a time just 0.003 seconds adrift of the MG rising star.

Josh Cook completed a strong day for MG RCIB Insurance Racing with third, whilst Andrew Jordan starts as the highest placed of those still in with a realistic chance of taking the championship title in fourth. Adam Morgan, who earlier topped the opening free practice session, is fifth alongside fans favourite Rob Austin. Matt Neal was seventh.

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Neal’s Honda team-mate and the other closest challenger to standings leader Sam Tordoff, defending champion Gordon Shedden, could only manage 10th behind the ever-improving Hunter Abbott and Aron Smith, who claimed victory in the reverse grid contest last time out at Rockingham.

With a full quota of success ballast on board, Sam Tordoff’s earlier prediction to that the weight would hurt less at Silverstone proved unfounded, as the BMW 125i M-Sport struggled to 15th. With Jack Goff 17th and Rob Collard, still a title contender himself, 24th, WSR face a recovery job for the second meeting in a row after qualifying similarly at Rockingham.

With Colin Turkington already relegated to 29th by virtue of his grid penalty for incurring a third strike at the Northamptonshire circuit three weeks ago, Jason Plato completed a frustrating session for Silverline Subaru BMR Racing in 15th. Plato, who can still win the title but sits on the fringes of the fight, will need a strong set of results tomorrow to keep his record of going into the last round of the championship with a shot at the title every year for the last decade or so.

A disappointing day for the title challengers was completed by the newly-liveried Mat Jackson, as the Ford Focus ST pilot struggled to 20th at a circuit in which the driver/car combination has proved a race-winning one in recent years.

The opening race tomorrow presents a fantastic opportunity for those chasing Tordoff to close the gap, assuming the 27-year old fails to perform another stellar comeback as in race two at Rockingham and claim victory. With those at the sharp end, such as Andrew Jordan, looking to reinvigorate his challenge for the crown, tomorrow evening could represent another twist in this year’s title race.

Qualifying times

1 116 M Ashley SUTTON MG Racing RCIB Insurance MG6GT 21 58.321
2 80 Tom INGRAM Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis 24 58.324 0.003
3 66 M Josh COOK MG Racing RCIB Insurance MG6GT 23 58.467 0.146
4 77 Andrew JORDAN Motorbase Performance Ford Focus 22 58.481 0.160
5 33 Adam MORGAN WIX Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class 23 58.537 0.216
6 11 Rob AUSTIN Handy Motorsport Toyota Avensis 23 58.598 0.277
7 25 M Matt NEAL Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 22 58.671 0.350
8 53 Hunter ABBOTT Power Maxed Racing Chevrolet Cruze 23 58.709 0.388
9 40 Árón SMITH BKR Volkswagen CC 22 58.724 0.403
10 52 M Gordon SHEDDEN Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 21 58.780 0.459
11 24 Jake HILL RCIB Insurance Racing Toyota Avensis 23 58.857 0.536
12 16 Aiden MOFFAT Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class 22 58.876 0.555
13 39 M Warren SCOTT Silverline Subaru BMR Racing Subaru Levorg GT 22 58.883 0.562
14 30 Martin DEPPER Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Type R 23 58.960 0.639
15 4 M Colin TURKINGTON Silverline Subaru BMR Racing Subaru Levorg GT 23 58.997 0.676
16 99 M Jason PLATO Silverline Subaru BMR Racing Subaru Levorg GT 23 59.007 0.686
17 600 C Sam TORDOFF Team JCT600 with GardX BMW 125i M Sport 22 59.014 0.693
18 31 C Jack GOFF Team IHG Rewards Club BMW 125i M Sport 24 59.040 0.719
19 55 Jeff SMITH Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Type R 21 59.055 0.734
20 84 Kelvin FLETCHER Power Maxed Racing Chevrolet Cruze 21 59.080 0.759
21 7 Mat JACKSON Motorbase Performance Ford Focus 21 59.149 0.828
22 17 Dan WELCH Goodestone Racing Proton Persona 24 59.236 0.915
23 20 M James COLE Silverline Subaru BMR Racing Subaru Levorg GT 25 59.339 1.018
24 48 Ollie JACKSON AmD Tuning Audi S3 20 59.368 1.047
25 100 C Rob COLLARD Team JCT600 with GardX BMW 125i M Sport 20 59.380 1.059
26 95 Stewart LINES Maximum Motorsport Ford Focus 23 59.428 1.107
27 34 Tony GILHAM TLC Racing Toyota Avensis 23 59.530 1.209
28 38 Mark HOWARD BKR Volkswagen CC 18 59.717 1.396
29 14 Alex MARTIN Dextra Racing with Team Parker Ford Focus 15 59.914 1.593
30 303 Matt SIMPSON Speedworks Motorsport Honda Civic Type R 6 1:00.615 2.294
31 12 Mike EPPS RCIB Insurance Racing Toyota Avensis 2 1:00.976 2.655

Complete session results

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