Adrian Flux Subaru Racing’s Ash Sutton secured pole position for the opening race of the 2019 British Touring Car Championship, edging out former team-mate Jason Plato in a greasy qualifying session.
After mixed conditions so far today [6 April] at Brands Hatch, the half-hour session was interrupted by three separate red flags, with Sutton setting the pole time of 53.602s following the second stoppage.
The track improved progressively throughout the session, with Tom Oliphant setting the benchmark in the first third before Ash Sutton eclipsed it and then improved on his time later on in drier, but still very greasy conditions.
Just 0.167s behind was Sutton’s former team-mate Plato, ahead of reigning champion Colin Turkington who improved late on in the session to leapfrog BMW stablemate Andrew Jordan in fourth, ahead of Tom Oliphant in fifth as the new BMWs shone.
Next was the Team Dynamics duo of Matt Neal and Dan Cammish in sixth and seventh respectively, with Tom Ingram’s new-for-2019 Toyota Corolla in eighth position.
With many runners fitting new wet tyres after the red flag stoppages, late improvements included an impressive performance from Stephen Jelley who posted a time good enough for eighth in the previous generation BMW 125i M Sport, although the BMW1-series driver would later have his times disallowed for a ride-height infringement.
AmD’s Sam Tordoff and BTC Racing’s Josh Cook completed the top ten, but Tordoff was the cause for the second red flag period after locking up and going straight into the barriers at Druids. Cook didn’t run in the second half of the session, likely a repeat of the electrical gremlins which have plagued his weekend thus far.
The other stoppages were caused by Ollie Jackson beaching his Ford Focus RS in the gravel at Clearways, while series newcomer Mark Blundell replicated Tordoff’s incident at Druids to necessitate the third red flag.
Rory Butcher, who is now being engineered by former Team HARD racer Mike Bushell, was 11th ahead of Cook’s team-mate Chris Smiley.
Tom Chilton led Motorbase Performance’s effort in 13th with Matt Simpson and Jake Hill rounding out the top 15.
The opening race of the 2019 British Touring Car Championship is set to get underway at 11:30 BST tomorrow [7 April].
|1||116||M||Ashley SUTTON||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg||29||53.602||0.000|
|2||11||M||Jason PLATO||Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||28||53.769||0.167|
|3||1||M||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||29||53.773||0.171|
|4||77||M||Andrew JORDAN||BMW Pirtek Racing||BMW 330i M Sport||26||53.852||0.250|
|5||15||M||Tom OLIPHANT||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||30||53.904||0.302|
|6||25||M||Matt NEAL||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||30||53.942||0.340|
|7||27||M||Dan CAMMISH||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||24||53.948||0.346|
|8||80||M||Tom INGRAM||Team Toyota GB with Ginsters||Toyota Corolla||26||53.985||0.383|
|9||600||I||Sam TORDOFF||Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid / RCIB Insurance||Honda Civic Type R||15||54.087||0.485|
|10||66||I||Josh COOK||BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||18||54.175||0.573|
|11||6||I||Rory BUTCHER||Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid / RCIB Insurance||Honda Civic Type R||23||54.186||0.584|
|12||22||I||Chris SMILEY||BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||28||54.188||0.586|
|13||3||I||Tom CHILTON||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher||Ford Focus RS||28||54.202||0.600|
|14||303||I||Matt SIMPSON||Simpson Racing||Honda Civic Type R||28||54.231||0.629|
|15||24||I||Jake HILL||TradePriceCars.com||Audi S3||25||54.265||0.663|
|16||9||M||Rob COLLARD||Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||29||54.267||0.665|
|17||18||M||Senna PROCTOR||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg||29||54.452||0.850|
|18||31||I||Jack GOFF||RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport||Volkswagen CC||20||54.604||1.002|
|19||19||I||Bobby THOMPSON||GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct||Volkswagen CC||26||54.690||1.088|
|20||28||I||Nicolas HAMILTON||ROKiT Racing with Motorbase||Ford Focus RS||25||54.693||1.091|
|21||32||I||Daniel ROWBOTTOM||Cataclean Racing with Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||30||54.715||1.113|
|22||33||I||Adam MORGAN||Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||27||54.787||1.185|
|23||16||I||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||28||54.835||1.233|
|24||777||I||Michael CREES||GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct||Volkswagen CC||26||55.117||1.515|
|25||37||I||Rob SMITH||Exceler8 Motorsport||MG6||27||55.195||1.593|
|26||4||I||Sam OSBORNE||Exceler8 Motorsport||MG6||27||55.543||1.941|
|27||48||I||Ollie JACKSON||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher||Ford Focus RS||4||55.821||2.219|
|28||8||I||Mark BLUNDELL||TradePriceCars.com||Audi S3||17||55.824||2.222|
|29||41||I||Carl BOARDLEY||RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport||Volkswagen CC||26||55.900||2.298|
|30||12||I||Stephen JELLEY||Team Parker Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||26||Disallowed||N/A|