Colin Turkington secures first pole for BMW 330i in mixed Donington qualifying

Colin Turkington secures first pole for BMW 330i in mixed Donington qualifying

Photo: PSP Images

Reigning champion Colin Turkington secured the first pole position for the new BMW 330i M Sport in a mixed, but largely dry qualifying for the British Touring Car Championship at Donington Park.

Turkington took pole by some six tenths after setting an early lap in the first third of the half-hour session, initially having his time stripped for a track limit infringement before then improving claiming pole with a clean lap of 1:09.871s.

Championship leader Josh Cook was second in his ballast-laden Honda Civic Type R, just 0.020s clear of former team-mate Ash Sutton’s Subaru Levorg.

Cook’s BTC Racing stablemate and second practice pacesetter Chris Smiley was fourth after having to bail out on his fastest time due to a red flag.

Stoppages were a common trend in the slippery session, as weather conditions changed constantly. Team HARD’s Bobby Thompson brought out the first after losing the rear at the Craner Curves and ending up beached in the gravel at the Old Hairpin.

Nic Hamilton then had a similar off at the Old Hairpin and escaped, before reproducing almost a carbon copy of the incident but stopping in the gravel the second time, necessitating another red flag with five minutes remaining.

Some competitors improved their time before Le Mans winner Mark Blundell clipped the grass and went straight on at McLeans, ending the session prematurely.

Sam Tordoff returned to form with fifth position for Amd Tuning, with 2018 runner-up Tom Ingram in sixth, albeit some eight tenths off Turkington’s benchmark.

The Halfords Yuasa Racing Hondas were next, with Dan Cammish and Matt Neal ending up seventh and eighth, while Team BMW’s Tom Oliphant finished ninth.

Rob Collard’s  Vauxhall Astra completed the top ten ahead of Ollie Jackson’s Ford Focus and his Power Maxed Racing team-mate Jason Plato.

Chilton, who sits second in the championship standings, could only manage 13th in the second of the Motorbase Fords, ahead of the Mercedes duo of Adam Morgan and Aiden Moffat in 14th and 15th positions respectively.

Andrew Jordan, who scored the first victory for the new-for-2019 BMW 3 Series at Brands Hatch last time out, could only manage 16th; as another driver to fall foul of the unfortunate session stoppages.

The opening race at Donington Park tomorrow morning [28 April] at 11:35 BST, with drier, more predictable weather forecasted for the day.

Qualifying result

POS NO CL DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 1 M Colin TURKINGTON Team BMW BMW 330i M Sport 16 1:09.871 0.000
2 66 I Josh COOK BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R 15 1:10.515 0.644
3 116 M Ashley SUTTON Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg 18 1:10.535 0.664
4 22 I Chris SMILEY BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R 15 1:10.638 0.767
5 600 I Sam TORDOFF Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Honda Civic Type R 16 1:10.650 0.779
6 80 M Tom INGRAM Team Toyota GB with Ginsters Toyota Corolla 15 1:10.691 0.820
7 27 M Dan CAMMISH Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 16 1:10.700 0.829
8 25 M Matt NEAL Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 17 1:10.713 0.842
9 15 M Tom OLIPHANT Team BMW BMW 330i M Sport 20 1:10.773 0.902
10 9 M Rob COLLARD Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra 16 1:10.868 0.997
11 48 I Ollie JACKSON Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher Ford Focus RS 16 1:10.891 1.020
12 11 M Jason PLATO Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra 15 1:10.905 1.034
13 3 I Tom CHILTON Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher Ford Focus RS 15 1:11.015 1.144
14 33 I Adam MORGAN Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class 14 1:11.019 1.148
15 16 I Aiden MOFFAT Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class 14 1:11.131 1.260
16 77 M Andrew JORDAN BMW Pirtek Racing BMW 330i M Sport 17 1:11.246 1.375
17 12 I Stephen JELLEY Team Parker Racing BMW 125i M Sport 18 1:11.283 1.412
18 303 I Matt SIMPSON Simpson Racing Honda Civic Type R 14 1:11.509 1.638
19 6 I Rory BUTCHER Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Honda Civic Type R 12 1:11.554 1.683
20 31 I Jack GOFF RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport Volkswagen CC 14 1:11.618 1.747
21 18 M Senna PROCTOR Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg 18 1:11.663 1.792
22 24 I Jake HILL TradePriceCars.com Audi S3 13 1:11.677 1.806
23 37 I Rob SMITH Exceler8 Motorsport MG6 16 1:11.694 1.823
24 777 I Michael CREES GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct Volkswagen CC 15 1:11.860 1.989
25 41 I Carl BOARDLEY RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport Volkswagen CC 14 1:11.932 2.061
26 28 I Nicolas HAMILTON ROKiT Racing with Motorbase Ford Focus RS 12 1:12.759 2.888
27 32 I Daniel ROWBOTTOM Cataclean Racing with Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class 15 1:12.867 2.996
28 4 I Sam OSBORNE Exceler8 Motorsport MG6 14 1:13.162 3.291
29 8 I Mark BLUNDELL TradePriceCars.com Audi S3 12 1:15.573 5.702
30 19 I Bobby THOMPSON GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct Volkswagen CC 3 No time N/A