Reigning champion Colin Turkington says he exceeded his own expectations by scoring pole position for the trio of British Touring Car Championship races at Oulton Park.
The current standings leader was aiming for a top six start for the opening race at the Cheshire circuit, and admitted he was not expecting to secure pole.
He told TouringCars.Net that the timing of his lap coupled with the effect of running new rubber brought his new-for-2019 BMW 3 Series alive, resulting in a sensational pole position despite carrying maximum ballast.
“That opening part of the session was the chance to do a lap, but obviously we didn’t know that at the time,” said Turkington.
“But you always push hard to put a banker in, and my car was just perfect really.
It was the first time we’d run new rubber this weekend and I just got everything pinpoint and got a tow off my team-mates as well.
“That was enough to put me right at the sharp end.”
The three-time BTCC champion placed 11th in opening practice, before improving with eighth position in the following session.
He explained that during qualifying “the whole picture” changed when fresh Dunlop tyres were bolted on to the 330i M Sport.
“I’d just been inside the top ten all day so I thought if I could sneak a top six maybe, that’s where I thought I could land it,” he said.
“But I drove a better lap than I have all day and the car was quite a bit better. Again , when you put new rubber on, the whole picture just changes.
“Definitely exceeded what I thought I could do.”
Despite being encouraged by the qualifying result, Turkington expects a “tough” three races tomorrow, believing that it is more difficult to maintain the pace across a race distance than on a qualifying lap.
“I expect a tough day. It’s a different job keeping the car at the front for 15 or 16 laps compared to just doing one lap out there by yourself,” Turkington said.
“It’s not going to be easy tomorrow by any stretch but I’d rather be on pole with a heavy car than starting tenth with a heavy car.
“So it’s been good work done today.”