Power Maxed Racing’s Josh Cook planted his Vauxhall Astra on pole position with a last-gasp lap to deny Chris Smiley’s Honda Civic Type R.
Cook continued his fine form in the wet conditions at the Leicestershire circuit, after he clocked second in opening practice and topped the following session earlier this afternoon.
The positions looked to have settled down with most drivers setting their fastest times midway through the half-hour session, but lap times improved dramatically in the dying moments.
BTC Norlin’s Chris Smiley looked to have secured his first ever pole position, before Cook’s Vauxhall edged him out by 0.030 seconds.
The result marked the first pole position for Vauxhall in the BTCC since Dave Newsham at Brands Hatch Indy in 2012.
2016 BTCC runner-up Sam Tordoff set provisional pole just before halfway mark, but dropped to third due to Cook and Smiley’s efforts.
Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Dan Cammish improved from seventh to fourth late in the session, with Aiden Moffat qualifying fifth – setting a lap time before he went off at Goddards with broken suspension.
Eurotech Racing’s Jack Goff managed to qualify his Honda Civic Type R sixth on the grid, despite carrying 66kg of success ballast as he sits second in the points standings.
James Nash made it both BTC Norlin Hondas in the top ten, with a similar story for Motorbase Performance as Tom Chilton qualified eighth.
Next was Goff’s Eurotech stablemate Brett Smith, who went one better than his qualifying efforts at Brands Hatch, with Ciceley Motorsport’s Tom Oliphant completing the top ten.
Reigning champion Ash Sutton could only manage 22nd, after he underwent an engine change between FP2 and qualifying.
Andrew Jordan suffered from a split turbo pipe in second practice earlier this afternoon, and his problems continued as his smokey BMW 125i M Sport was forced to finish qualifying early.
Meanwhile, Jake Hill was sat 10th before he failed a ride height check mid session, meaning his time was deleted and he will start 31st.
Qualifying – Result:
|1||66||M||Josh COOK||Power Maxed TAG Racing||Vauxhall Astra||18||1:19.816||0.000|
|2||22||Chris SMILEY||BTC Norlin Racing||Honda Civic Type R||18||1:19.846||0.030|
|3||600||Sam TORDOFF||Team GardX Racing with Motorbase||Ford Focus RS||15||1:19.983||0.167|
|4||27||M||Dan CAMMISH||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||17||1:20.095||0.279|
|5||16||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||13||1:20.311||0.495|
|6||31||Jack GOFF||WIX Racing with Eurotech||Honda Civic Type R||17||1:20.338||0.522|
|7||14||James NASH||BTC Norlin Racing||Honda Civic Type R||18||1:20.338||0.522|
|8||3||Tom CHILTON||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher||Ford Focus RS||17||1:20.396||0.580|
|9||39||Brett SMITH||WIX Racing with Eurotech||Honda Civic Type R||19||1:20.481||0.665|
|10||15||Tom OLIPHANT||Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||18||1:20.520||0.704|
|11||2||M||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 125i M Sport||18||1:20.580||0.764|
|12||20||James COLE||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher||Ford Focus RS||17||1:20.615||0.799|
|13||33||Adam MORGAN||MAC Tools with Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||16||1:20.617||0.801|
|14||303||Matt SIMPSON||Simpson Racing||Honda Civic Type R||19||1:20.665||0.849|
|15||18||M||Senna PROCTOR||Power Maxed TAG Racing||Vauxhall Astra||18||1:20.685||0.869|
|16||80||Tom INGRAM||Speedworks Motorsport||Toyota Avensis||17||1:20.718||0.902|
|17||25||M||Matt NEAL||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||17||1:20.727||0.911|
|18||23||Sam SMELT||AmD with Cobra Exhausts||Audi S3||17||1:20.908||1.092|
|19||6||Rory BUTCHER||AmD with AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Racing||MG 6||16||1:20.941||1.125|
|20||11||Rob AUSTIN||DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||17||1:20.981||1.165|
|21||99||M||Jason PLATO||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||14||1:21.004||1.188|
|22||1||M||Ashley SUTTON||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||5||1:21.044||1.228|
|23||60||Stephen JELLEY||Team Parker Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||19||1:21.326||1.510|
|24||19||Bobby THOMPSON||Team HARD. with Trade Price Cars||Volkswagen CC||14||1:21.333||1.517|
|25||5||M||Rob COLLARD||Team BMW||BMW 125i M Sport||17||1:21.361||1.545|
|26||28||Josh PRICE||Autoglym Academy Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||17||1:21.396||1.580|
|27||48||Ollie JACKSON||AmD with Cobra Exhausts||Audi S3||16||1:21.482||1.666|
|28||21||Mike BUSHELL||Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing||Volkswagen CC||14||1:21.538||1.722|
|29||12||Tom BOARDMAN||AmD with AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Racing||MG 6||14||1:22.072||2.256|
|30||77||M||Andrew JORDAN||BMW Pirtek Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||3||1:22.322||2.506|
|31||24||Jake HILL||Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing||Volkswagen CC||17||No time||N/A|
|32||44||Michael CAINE||Team HARD. with Trade Price Cars||Volkswagen CC||2||No time||N/A|