In a qualifying session riddled with five red-flag stoppages Andrew Jordan secured pole position for the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Croft – despite the BMW Pirtek driver being the cause of the last stoppage.
Jordan had been the fastest driver in the session even before the first of the stoppages, ultimately going quicker twice in the closing stages of the session to ensure that he remained as the fastest driver despite losing his best lap of 1 minute 21.663 seconds, ultimately taking pole with a time of 1:21.734.
The first of the four red-flags flew after just seven minutes when one of the tyre stacks placed at Sunny In was clipped and ended up in the track, requiring the marshals to retrieve it from the racing line.
Drivers had barely had time to complete an out lap before the red flags then flew again when Motorbase Performance’s Nic Hamilton hit the recticel barrier on the exit of the first chicane, causing extensive front-right damage to his Ford Focus and requiring the disintegrated barrier to be moved to safety.
A third stoppage, after just one out lap, then came when Tom Ingram clipped the reinstated barrier at Sunny In, knocking it into the path of Michael Crees, whose Team HARD Volkswagen subsequently hit head-on.
Once again, no drivers were able to completed a timed lap upon the resumption of the session before AmD Tuning’s Rory Butcher lost the rear of his car through the first chicane and speared heavily into the tyre barriers on the outside of the circuit, causing significant damage to his car and ruling the joint championship leader out for the rest of the session.
In the intervening time period, rain began to fall on the North Yorkshire circuit, although the session was able to resume just in time to allow some of the field to improve their times in the five minutes of running before the final red flag stoppage.
That allowed BTC Racing’s Chris Smiley to post the second-best time, 0.148 seconds adrift of Jordan’s pole time, ahead of Motorbase Performance’s Tom Chilton in third.
BMW’s Colin Turkington was fourth fastest after getting his lap in early on in the session, ahead of WSR team-mate Tom Oliphant in fifth.
Subaru’s Ash Sutton made it four rear-wheel drive cars in the top six, ahead of the second practice pace-setting Honda of Dan Cammish in seventh.
Ollie Jackson was a late improver in the second Motorbase Ford, whilst Team HARD’s Jake Hill and Power Maxed Racing’s Jason Plato completed the top ten.
The session still had just over five minutes remaining when it was called off after more than 35 minutes under red flag conditions, leaving Jordan – who had caused the final stoppage due to a front-right puncture, on pole as his car was recovered to the pitlane.
The topsy-turvy session produced a number of out-of-position qualifiers, including Matt Neal in just 13th, Tom Ingram in 15th and Sam Tordoff in 26th, with the latter unable to get a clear fast lap in amongst all of the stoppages, compounding AmD’s unlucky session.
|1||77||M||Andrew JORDAN||BMW Pirtek Racing||BMW 330i M Sport||9||1:21.734||0.000|
|2||22||I||Chris SMILEY||BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||8||1:21.882||0.148|
|3||3||I||Tom CHILTON||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher||Ford Focus RS||9||1:21.889||0.155|
|4||1||M||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||10||1:21.978||0.244|
|5||15||M||Tom OLIPHANT||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||10||1:22.072||0.338|
|6||116||M||Ashley SUTTON||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg||10||1:22.101||0.367|
|7||27||M||Dan CAMMISH||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||8||1:22.120||0.386|
|8||48||I||Ollie JACKSON||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher||Ford Focus RS||7||1:22.138||0.404|
|9||24||I||Jake HILL||TradePriceCars.com||Audi S3||9||1:22.175||0.441|
|10||11||M||Jason PLATO||Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||8||1:22.185||0.451|
|11||18||M||Senna PROCTOR||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg||10||1:22.490||0.756|
|12||66||I||Josh COOK||BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||9||1:22.547||0.813|
|13||25||M||Matt NEAL||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||8||1:22.596||0.862|
|14||32||I||Daniel ROWBOTTOM||Cataclean Racing with Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||7||1:22.603||0.869|
|15||80||M||Tom INGRAM||Team Toyota GB with Ginsters||Toyota Corolla||7||1:22.621||0.887|
|16||9||M||Rob COLLARD||Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||8||1:23.051||1.317|
|17||16||I||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||7||1:23.083||1.349|
|18||12||I||Stephen JELLEY||Team Parker Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||8||1:23.187||1.453|
|19||303||I||Matt SIMPSON||Simpson Racing||Honda Civic Type R||9||1:23.196||1.462|
|20||31||I||Jack GOFF||RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport||Volkswagen CC||7||1:23.523||1.789|
|21||41||I||Carl BOARDLEY||RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport||Volkswagen CC||7||1:23.622||1.888|
|22||777||I||Michael CREES||GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct||Volkswagen CC||8||1:23.845||2.111|
|23||4||I||Sam OSBORNE||Exceler8 Motorsport||MG6||8||1:23.881||2.147|
|24||19||I||Bobby THOMPSON||GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct||Volkswagen CC||7||1:23.923||2.189|
|25||37||I||Rob SMITH||Exceler8 Motorsport||MG6||7||1:24.075||2.341|
|26||600||I||Sam TORDOFF||Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid / RCIB Insurance||Honda Civic Type R||7||1:27.577||5.843|
|27||8||I||Mark BLUNDELL||TradePriceCars.com||Audi S3||8||1:30.814||9.080|
|28||33||I||Adam MORGAN||Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||7||No time||N/A|
|29||6||I||Rory BUTCHER||Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid / RCIB Insurance||Honda Civic Type R||3||No time||N/A|
|30||28||I||Nicolas HAMILTON||ROKiT Racing with Motorbase||Ford Focus RS||2||No time||N/A|