James Cole takes first-ever BTCC pole at Rockingham

James Cole takes first-ever BTCC pole at Rockingham

James Cole
Photo: Network Images

James Cole secured his first-ever pole position in the British Touring Car Championship at Rcokingham, ahead of Eurotech Racing’s Jack Goff and Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram.

Cole put his Subaru at the top of the times with just three and a half minutes remaining in the half-hour shootout, having improved his lap times on two successive laps in the final five minutes.

The Liverpudlian’s pole is the first in his BTCC career, and also marks the first for a rear-wheel drive car at Rockingham, despite the Subaru Levorgs having had their boost levels reduced slightly since the previous round at Knockhill.

Goff was second, although the Eurotech Honda racer had been at the top of the times for most of the final 20 minutes of the session, being pipped only by Cole near the end.

Ingram, who had topped both of the morning’s earlier practice sessions, ended up in third, with the Toyota driver having scuppered his final flying lap with a slide through Gracelands.

Ash Sutton was the leading championship contender in fourth, just over a tenth behind his pace-setting Subaru team-mate despite carrying 66 kg of success ballast.

Points leader Colin Turkington also enjoyed a strong session, putting in the fifth fastest time to keep Sutton within his sights. All three of the WSR-run BMWs have also had their boost levels reduced slightly since Knockhill.

Adam Morgan qualified in sixth, marking a third successive top ten qualifying result for the Mercedes driver.

Matt Neal was the leading factory-backed Honda driver in seventh, although his title contending team-mate Gordon Shedden found less pace in his Civic and ended the session down in 16th, just over half a second off the pace.

Josh Cook was the leading MG driver in eighth, ahead of Power Maxed Racing’s Tom Chilton in ninth and Subaru’s Jason Plato in tenth.

AmD Tuning duo Ollie Jackson and Ant Whorton-Eales, who had both been comfortably inside the top ten in practice, fared slightly less well in qualifying, putting their Audis in 14th and 19th respectively.

Team BMW’s Rob Collard had been languishing down in 27th for much of the session, but in the end the perennial qualifying under-performer managed to improve to put his car in 20th for Sunday’s first race.

Race one takes place at 11:37 BST on Sunday.

Qualifying result

POS NO CL DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 20 M James COLE Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg GT 16 1:23.187 0.000
2 31 Jack GOFF Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Type R 14 1:23.235 0.048
3 80 Tom INGRAM Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis 14 1:23.269 0.082
4 116 M Ashley SUTTON Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg GT 16 1:23.308 0.121
5 4 M Colin TURKINGTON Team BMW BMW 125i M Sport 16 1:23.382 0.195
6 33 Adam MORGAN Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class 15 1:23.385 0.198
7 25 M Matt NEAL Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 15 1:23.450 0.263
8 66 Josh COOK MG Racing RCIB Insurance MG6GT 13 1:23.482 0.295
9 2 M Tom CHILTON Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra 13 1:23.569 0.382
10 99 M Jason PLATO Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg GT 16 1:23.622 0.435
11 3 Mat JACKSON Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo Ford Focus 14 1:23.654 0.467
12 28 M Josh PRICE A-Plan Academy Subaru Levorg GT 15 1:23.668 0.481
13 40 M Árón TAYLOR-SMITH MG Racing RCIB Insurance MG6GT 15 1:23.672 0.485
14 48 Ollie JACKSON AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3 13 1:23.680 0.493
15 12 Mike EPPS Autoaid / RCIB Insurance Racing Volkswagen CC 17 1:23.696 0.509
16 52 M Gordon SHEDDEN Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 14 1:23.699 0.512
17 17 Dave NEWSHAM BTC Norlin Racing Chevrolet Cruze 15 1:23.705 0.518
18 77 M Andrew JORDAN BMW Pirtek Racing BMW 125i M Sport 15 1:23.737 0.550
19 10 Ant WHORTON-EALES AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3 16 1:23.751 0.564
20 5 M Rob COLLARD Team BMW BMW 125i M Sport 15 1:23.824 0.637
21 6 Rory BUTCHER Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo Ford Focus 14 1:23.861 0.674
22 18 M Senna PROCTOR Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra 14 1:23.929 0.742
23 11 Rob AUSTIN Handy Motorsport Toyota Avensis 15 1:23.976 0.789
24 7 Stephen JELLEY Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport Ford Focus 15 1:24.001 0.814
25 22 Chris SMILEY BTC Norlin Racing Chevrolet Cruze 14 1:24.012 0.825
26 39 Brett SMITH Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Type R 14 1:24.111 0.924
27 303 M Matt SIMPSON Simpson Racing Honda Civic Type R 16 1:24.157 0.970
28 16 Aiden MOFFAT Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class 15 1:24.259 1.072
29 30 Martin DEPPER Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo Ford Focus 12 1:24.299 1.112
30 61 Will BURNS Autoaid / RCIB Insurance Racing Volkswagen CC 15 1:24.858 1.671
31 24 Jake HILL TAG Racing Volkswagen CC 12 1:24.983 1.796
32 95 Stewart LINES Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport Ford Focus 16 1:25.520 2.333