Toyota’s Rory Butcher secured his first British Touring Car Championship pole position since Silverstone last year when he set the fastest lap in Saturday’s qualifying session at the Northamptonshire circuit.
Both of the Speedworks Motorsport-run Toyotas had been on form in the morning’s practice sessions, with Butcher and team-mate Ricky Collard never outside of the top six places.
The Scot, who is still seeking his first 2022 win, then went even better in qualifying, lapping the 1.6-mile circuit in 57.374 seconds to edge out MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill by 0.037 seconds for pole.
Butcher’s lap was close to, but not faster than, the lap record of 57.349 seconds posted by Dan Cammish two years’ ago.
Top BMW racer Hill will line up alongside on the front row of the grid, having beaten Ciceley Motorsport’s Adam Morgan to the rear-wheel drive bragging rights, with Morgan also being within a tenth of a second of pole.
Excelr8 Motorsport’s Tom Ingram was fourth quickest in the leading Hyundai, ahead of NAPA Racing UK’s Dan Cammish in fifth.
Neither of the Motorbase-run Fords had featured inside the top ten in the earlier practice sessions, but Cammish and title-contending team-mate Ash Sutton worked together in qualifying to bag top ten grid positions, with Sutton in seventh just behind the second Toyota of Collard ahead.
Team Dynamics’ Gordon Shedden was the best of the Honda drivers in eighth, whilst the top ten was completed by Excelr8’s Daniel Lloyd and Team BMW’s points leader Colin Turkington, Lloyd having swapped places with Turkington when he improved in the final minute.
Stephen Jelley was just behind his team-mate in 11th, ahead of the best of the BTC Racing Hondas of Josh Cook in 12th.
Ciceley’s George Gamble caused a five-minute red-flag stoppage at the halfway point of the session when his BMW stopped on track, leaving him to plunge from 12th in the times down to 17th as he was unable to re-join the session thereafter.
Although Jason Plato had been BTC’s best driver in both of the day’s earlier sessions, the 54-year-old couldn’t match his pace from first thing in the morning and was only 19th.
Race one gets underway at 11:40 BST on Sunday.
|1||6||Rory BUTCHER||Toyota GAZOO Racing UK||Toyota Corolla GR Sport||23||57.374||–|
|2||24||Jake HILL||ROKiT MB Motorsport||BMW 330e M Sport||22||57.411||0.037|
|3||33||Adam MORGAN||Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport||BMW 330e M Sport||27||57.462||0.088|
|4||80||Tom INGRAM||Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||20||57.497||0.123|
|5||9||Dan CAMMISH||NAPA Racing UK||Ford Focus ST||25||57.504||0.130|
|6||21||Ricky COLLARD||Toyota GAZOO Racing UK||Toyota Corolla GR Sport||24||57.513||0.139|
|7||1||Ashley SUTTON||NAPA Racing UK||Ford Focus ST||24||57.563||0.189|
|8||52||Gordon SHEDDEN||Halfords Racing with Cataclean||Honda Civic Type R||21||57.610||0.236|
|9||123||Daniel LLOYD||Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||22||57.674||0.300|
|10||50||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 330e M Sport||26||57.685||0.311|
|11||12||Stephen JELLEY||Team BMW||BMW 330e M Sport||25||57.724||0.350|
|12||66||Josh COOK||Rich Energy BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||25||57.759||0.385|
|13||48||Ollie JACKSON||Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan||Ford Focus ST||21||57.780||0.406|
|14||3||Tom CHILTON||Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||18||57.784||0.410|
|15||97||Ash HAND||CarStore Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||24||57.789||0.415|
|16||19||Bobby THOMPSON||Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero||CUPRA Leon||7||57.801||0.427|
|17||42||George GAMBLE||Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport||BMW 330e M Sport||11||57.839||0.465|
|18||96||Jack BUTEL||Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||24||57.866||0.492|
|19||11||Jason PLATO||Rich Energy BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||22||57.898||0.524|
|20||777||Michael CREES||CarStore Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||21||57.916||0.542|
|21||32||Daniel ROWBOTTOM||Halfords Racing with Cataclean||Honda Civic Type R||22||57.918||0.544|
|22||17||Dexter PATTERSON||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti Q50||28||57.934||0.560|
|23||40||Árón TAYLOR-SMITH||Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing||CUPRA Leon||22||57.974||0.600|
|24||16||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti Q50||24||58.042||0.668|
|25||99||Jade EDWARDS||Rich Energy BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||22||58.202||0.828|
|26||77||Sam OSBORNE||Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan||Ford Focus ST||24||58.256||0.882|
|27||28||Nicolas HAMILTON||Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing||CUPRA Leon||22||58.621||1.247|
|28||20||Will POWELL||Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero||CUPRA Leon||22||58.843||1.469|
|29||62||Rick PARFITT JR||Uptonsteel with Euro Car Parts Racing||Infiniti Q50||23||59.030||1.656|