Four time champion heads home a BMW 1-2-3-4 at Brands Hatch
Team BMW’s Colin Turkington claimed pole position for Round 4 of the 2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch Indy earlier today (14 May) – the 25th pole position of his illustrious BTCC career.
The Northern Irishman was embroiled in a Bavarian marque battle for the ultimate top spot as he edged stablemates Jake Hill (ROKiT MB Motorsport) and Stephen Jelley (Team BMW).
The 330e M Sport runners weren’t content with just a top three, however, as Adam Morgan joined the party in the closing moments to take fourth for Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport – the Lancastrian continuing his eye-catching start to the campaign.
A front row of Turkington and Hill will spark recent memories of the Donington Park season opener when the squabbling West Surrey Racing duo handed victory to Tom Ingram.
Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com’s Ingram – running without hybrid power during qualifying by virtue of his championship lead – performed admirably to take sixth, just behind Rich Energy BTC Racing’s Josh Cook.
Rookie George Gamble turned heads on his race weekend debut by scoring a podium last month, and the Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport driver backed up that potential with seventh during qualifying around the 1.21-mile Indy circuit.
Dan Cammish salvaged some success for NAPA Racing UK with eighth, although his reigning champion team-mate Ash Sutton could only manage 18th on the grid for tomorrow’s first race.
Toyota GAZOO Racing UK’s Rory Butcher and Halfords Racing with Cataclean’s Dan Rowbottom completed the top ten positions, the latter having pipped team-mate Gordon Shedden.
Such has been the speed and pace shown during this early period of the all-new Hybrid era that no fewer than 18 cars dipped under the previous qualifying lap record.
The competitiveness of the championship also continues to astound with the top 25 cars covered by less than a second.
Saturday's qualifying session also marked the 100th pole position for an NGTC car, the first having been achieved back in 2012.
Rounds 4, 5 and 6 of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship take place on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit today with the UK’s premier motorsport series starring live on ITV for the first time in 15 years.
Race day will commence on ITV4 – the home of the BTCC – at 11am for the opening BTCC race, before action switches to ITV from 2pm for races two and three.
Colin Turkington said: “It’s a nice start, so pleased. Free practice you never quite know how things are going, who’s running new tyres, who’s deploying what hybrid but as usual my car has progressed through the day and it came alive during qualifying. It really was a different animal than I had in free practice and the 330e has always been a good car around Brands Indy. Of course, it’s a Donington repeat maybe, but I think we’ve learnt our lesson from that one, but I’d sooner have four BMWs up at the front like this. It shows the strengths of the BMW 3 Series around this track… it is somewhere where we test during pre-season so I think we are just on top of things.”
Jake Hill said: “It was just fantastic for the team (West Surrey Racing) – 1, 2, 3 in our second weekend is nice and I’m in the middle of a BMW sandwich! It’s good, I’m really really happy, it is fantastic for all of us. I can’t be unhappy with second so just looking forward to tomorrow now! From my experience, it can be good to start second instead of pole here. It depends what weather we get tomorrow, I think it’s going to be glorious like it is today, so traction shouldn’t be an issue or anything. It’s possible, so if I do lead into turn one it will be fantastic!”
Stephen Jelley said: “This season I’ve just sort of grown up a bit, which sounds a bit weird but, I’ve got two quick team-mates so if you don’t do everything right, you get blown away. So in any other situation, I’d be over the moon with P3, but with those two there, I’m disappointed. I know I left a little bit on the table and I didn’t manage the hybrid enough in the right time in the last two laps where it counted, it got too hot and I should’ve managed it a bit earlier for when I got the clear track space. That’s what it’s all about, if you get into that track space when the cars is in the right window and I’ve just not nailed that, so I’m disappointed but it’s a great position to be in.”
2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Qualifying – Brands Hatch Indy
1. Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW 47.539s
2. Jake HILL (GBR) ROKiT MB Motorsport +0.167s
3. Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team BMW +0.170s
4. Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.186s
5. Josh COOK (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +0.218s
6. Tom INGRAM (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +0.233s
7. George GAMBLE (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.256s
8. Dan CAMMISH (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +0.256s
9. Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +0.257s
10. Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.266s
11. Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.324s
12. Tom CHILTON (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +0.327s
13. Ash HAND (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.333s
14. Ricky COLLARD (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +0.362s
15. Dexter PATTERSON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.382s
16. Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +0.390s
17. Michael CREES (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.423s
18. Ash SUTTON (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +0.423s
19. Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +0.461s
20. Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.506s
21. Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +0.594s
22. Jason PLATO (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +0.613s
23. Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +0.620s
24. Árón TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +0.765s
25. Jade EDWARDS (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +0.811s
26. Nic HAMILTON (GBR) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +1.102s
27. Jack BUTEL (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +1.439s
28. Rick PARFITT (GBR) Uptonsteel with Euro Car Parts Racing +1.608s
29. Will POWELL (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +1.664s