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Colin Turkington ‘wasn’t expecting’ to secure pole position at Snetterton

Points leader Colin Turkington has admitted that he ‘wasn’t expecting’ to be able to challenge for pole position in British Touring Car Championship qualifying at Snetterton.

Turkington had no hybrid allocation available to him for qualifying as a result of leading the standings, but the Team BMW driver nonetheless was able to pip WSR team-mate Jake Hill to pole by less than a tenth of a second, as BMWs locked out the top three places.

It is the third consecutive Snetterton pole for Turkington, and takes his career poles tally up to 27.

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Although he has strong from at the Norfolk circuit – also claiming eight wins to-date – Turkington admitted that he hadn’t expected to be in contention for pole.

“Snetterton has obviously been a good place for me over the years, but I really wasn’t expecting to be on pole position today,” said Turkington.

“We made a significant change from practice to qualifying and it really unleashed some speed – it completely shifted the balance of the car.

“To be honest, I’ve been struggling with a lot of understeer all year, but we managed to pretty much completely eradicate it, so that was positive.

“Given the high track and ambient temperature so much of it was about doing the lap at the right time. It’s so easy to either start the lap with too much tyre temperature or not enough.

“So it’s just about the timing of the lap that seems very critical. Experience of this sort of heat with the car and knowing how to react has worked for us today.”

The 40-year-old – running with the number 500 on his car this weekend in deference to making his 500th race start in race three on Sunday – is aware of the need to look after his tyres in Sunday’s races due to the high temperatures and fast corners at Snetterton.

“I don’t think the setup we ran today in qualifying will work in the races – I’ve got to do 12 laps and not two, so tomorrow’s going to be about looking after the front-left.

“It’s the high speed corners that do the most damage because you generate more load and temperature and it’s the temperature that creates the wear.”

Although Turkington has twice previously won the first two races of the day from pole at Snetterton – in 2015 and 2020 – he says that repeating that feat in 2022 is far from certain.

“It’s really hard to know because obviously in race one I only have two laps of hybrid, so we don’t know how much that affects it.

“I think tomorrow will be a race of attrition and about who looks after the tyres. I’m just taking it one race at a time and not thinking too much about race two.”

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