Bradley Kent denied local racer Josh Files pole position for the opening TCR UK race of the season at Snetterton, edging out the fellow Hyundai racer by less than a tenth of a second in the final minute of the session.
Kent, who is the sole representative for Essex & Kent Motorsport this season, secured his third pole position in the series with a final attempt on the Snetterton 300 to deny seasoned TCR racer Files.
Files is stepping in for the Snetterton event only with Area Motorsport and had looked set to claim pole on his series début with an effort of 1 minute 56.748 seconds on a dry circuit, having topped the times for over half of the session, only to be denied at the very end.
Bruce Winfield was third fastest behind his teammate, whilst Adam Shepherd made it an Area Motorsport 2-3-4 as he followed fellow Hyundai i30 N racer Winfield in fourth, still just over three tenths of a second off the pace.
Reigning champion Chris Smiley was fifth fastest on the global début of the new Honda Civic Type-R FL5 model, with Daniel James Motorsport’s Alex Ley in sixth – Ley having topped the times after eight minutes with a lap of 1:57.386 but being unable to improve it in the final half of the session.
Chameleon Motorsport’s Lewis Brown was the leading CUPRA racer in seventh, ahead of JH Racing’s Callum Newsham in eighth, making it six Hyundais in the top ten.
Series rookies Jenson Brickley and Joe Marshall completed the top ten in their CUPRA and Audi cars respectively, the latter being just over a second off the pace.
Smiley’s Restart Racing team-mate Scott Sumpton was 11th, ahead of series newcomer Carl Boardley in 12th.
For eight of the field of 24 drivers, qualifying represented their first laps of the season, as not all cars took part in the sole free practice session earlier in the day: Josh Files, Adam Shepherd, Bruce Winfield, Joe Marshall, Rick Kerry, Steve Gales, Alistair Camp and Jac Constable all failed to turn a wheel prior to qualifying.
Constable was the only driver failing to also put a time in during qualifying as a result of an engine issue with his second-generation Audi TCR car.
The opening race of the season gets underway at 13:20 BST on Sunday and will be streamed live via YouTube.
|1||4||Bradley KENT||Essex & Kent Motorsport||Hyundai Veloster N TCR||14||1:56.670||–|
|2||9||Josh FILES||Area Motorsport||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||12||1:56.748||0.078|
|3||37||Bruce WINFIELD||Area Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||14||1:56.882||0.212|
|4||117||Adam SHEPHERD||Area Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||11||1:56.982||0.312|
|5||1||Chris SMILEY||Restart Racing||Honda Civic Type-R FL5 TCR||9||1:57.376||0.706|
|6||76||Alex LEY||Area Motorsport with Daniel James||Hyundai i30 N TCR||13||1:57.386||0.716|
|7||39||Lewis BROWN||Chameleon Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||11||1:57.498||0.828|
|8||16||Callum NEWSHAM||JH Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||12||1:57.516||0.846|
|9||246||Jenson BRICKLEY||Jenson Brickley Racing||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||12||1:57.552||0.882|
|10||99||Joe MARSHALL||Rob Boston Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||12||1:57.748||1.078|
|11||27||Scott SUMPTON||Restart Racing||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||14||1:57.966||1.296|
|12||41||Carl BOARDLEY||Zest Racecar Engineering||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||9||1:58.500||1.830|
|13||98||Oliver COTTAM||Paul Sheard Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||13||1:58.669||1.999|
|14||17||Bradley HUTCHISON||BOND IT with MPHR||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||11||1:58.919||2.249|
|15||14||Daniel KIRBY||Zest Racecar Engineering||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||12||1:59.250||2.580|
|16||45||Alistair CAMP||Pro Alloys Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||13||1:59.430||2.760|
|17||285||Darron LEWIS||Darron Lewis Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||12||2:00.219||3.549|
|18||31||Matthew WILSON||JWB Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||14||2:00.321||3.651|
|19||50||Darelle WILSON||DW Racing||Vauxhall Astra TCR||12||2:00.924||4.254|
|20||72||Rick KERRY||Team AFM Racing||CUPRA TCR||13||2:02.367||5.697|
|21||223||Garry TOWNSEND||Paul Sheard Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||13||2:02.641||5.971|
|22||28||George JAXON||JWB Motorsport with Trade Nation||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||8||2:03.831||7.161|
|23||35||Steve GALES||MPHR||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||12||2:07.770||11.100|
|24||11||Jac CONSTABLE||Rob Boston Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||0||No time||N/A|