BTC Racing’s Thruxton expert Josh Cook claimed pole position for the opening British Touring Car Championship race at the Hampshire circuit, beating MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill by 0.077 seconds.
Cook left it until the final four minutes of the session to elevate himself to the top of the timesheets, having earlier been comfortably in the top ten throughout but not at the top.
The Honda driver’s lap time of 1 minute 15.310 seconds probed to be good enough to see off the challenge from the field, with few drivers thereafter improving their time and leaving Cook to score the third BTCC pole position of his career.
His lap time was ultimately a tenth slower than the qualifying lap record which had been set in 2020, and given that Cook only had 1.5 seconds of hybrid deployment available per lap due to his championship position, perhaps suggests the system has less of an effect at the fast circuit.
Hill continued his run of always qualifying on the front row of the grid in 2022, ending up less than a tenth slower than Cook.
NAPA Racing UK’s Dan Cammish moved up the timesheets in the final minute of the session to claim third, a gain of five places, as the Motorbase driver ended up 0.081 seconds from Cook.
Team BMW’s Colin Turkington was also a late improver, the four-time champion having been down in 15th with just two minutes left before he pulled together a strong lap.
Ash Sutton was fifth in his NAPA Racing Ford, which has benefitted from a weight reduction since the last round, allowing the team to redistribute the weight in other areas of the car to aid the setup.
Team Dynamics’ Daniel Rowbottom was sixth fastest, although the Honda driver couldn’t take to the track in the final minutes of the session following an incident with Sam Osborne.
With five minutes remaining, Rowbottom was coming into the pits and thus slow out of the final chicane, when Osborne, on a fast lap, came up behind him and misjudged the speed, clipping the back of the Civic.
Having been second in FP2, BTC Racing’s Jason Plato enjoyed his best qualifying of the year thus far to claim seventh for race one, just under four tenths slower than his pole-setting team-mate.
Championship leader Tom Ingram was eighth in the leading Excelr8 Hyundai, with Team Dynamics’ Gordon Shedden and Team BMW’s Stephen Jelley completing the top ten.
Power Maxed Racing’s Ash Hand was an impressive 11th quickest in the ageing Vauxhall Astra, ahead of the Ciceley Motorsport BMW of Adam Morgan in 12th.
A challenging session for the Toyota Gazoo Racing UK Corollas saw Rory Butcher in just 15th, at a circuit where in 2021 he was inside the top five on both occasions.
Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat qualified as the leading Infiniti in 17th but the Scot also suffered from a broken left-rear damper that limited his running in the session early on.
Race one is scheduled to get underway at 11:40 BST on Sunday.
|1||66||Josh COOK||Rich Energy BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||15||1:15.310||–|
|2||24||Jake HILL||ROKiT MB Motorsport||BMW 330e M Sport||18||1:15.387||0.077|
|3||9||Dan CAMMISH||NAPA Racing UK||Ford Focus ST||16||1:15.391||0.081|
|4||50||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 330e M Sport||16||1:15.471||0.161|
|5||1||Ashley SUTTON||NAPA Racing UK||Ford Focus ST||14||1:15.526||0.216|
|6||32||Daniel ROWBOTTOM||Halfords Racing with Cataclean||Honda Civic Type R||11||1:15.539||0.229|
|7||11||Jason PLATO||Rich Energy BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||10||1:15.698||0.388|
|8||80||Tom INGRAM||Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||17||1:15.713||0.403|
|9||52||Gordon SHEDDEN||Halfords Racing with Cataclean||Honda Civic Type R||12||1:15.971||0.661|
|10||12||Stephen JELLEY||Team BMW||BMW 330e M Sport||18||1:16.002||0.692|
|11||97||Ash HAND||CarStore Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||15||1:16.024||0.714|
|12||33||Adam MORGAN||Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport||BMW 330e M Sport||18||1:16.053||0.743|
|13||123||Daniel LLOYD||Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||15||1:16.198||0.888|
|14||19||Bobby THOMPSON||Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero||CUPRA Leon||15||1:16.211||0.901|
|15||6||Rory BUTCHER||Toyota GAZOO Racing UK||Toyota Corolla GR Sport||13||1:16.226||0.916|
|16||42||George GAMBLE||Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport||BMW 330e M Sport||19||1:16.248||0.938|
|17||16||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti Q50||14||1:16.401||1.091|
|18||3||Tom CHILTON||Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||14||1:16.529||1.219|
|19||777||Michael CREES||CarStore Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||14||1:16.533||1.223|
|20||40||Árón TAYLOR-SMITH||Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing||CUPRA Leon||15||1:16.576||1.266|
|21||99||Jade EDWARDS||Rich Energy BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||16||1:16.596||1.286|
|22||77||Sam OSBORNE||Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan||Ford Focus ST||18||1:16.659||1.349|
|23||21||Ricky COLLARD||Toyota GAZOO Racing UK||Toyota Corolla GR Sport||16||1:16.715||1.405|
|24||48||Ollie JACKSON||Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan||Ford Focus ST||15||1:16.828||1.518|
|25||28||Nicolas HAMILTON||Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing||CUPRA Leon||15||1:16.993||1.683|
|26||17||Dexter PATTERSON||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti Q50||19||1:17.428||2.118|
|27||96||Jack BUTEL||Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||19||1:17.730||2.420|
|28||62||Rick PARFITT JR||Uptonsteel with Euro Car Parts Racing||Infiniti Q50||19||1:18.007||2.697|
|29||20||Will POWELL||Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero||CUPRA Leon||16||1:18.283||2.973|