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.
|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|