Colin Turkington will start on pole position for Round 19 of the 2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton today as the four-time champion set a scorching pace during qualifying.
The Northern Irishman is set to start his 500th BTCC race in the third encounter at the Norfolk track, but the Team BMW star will be hoping to have scored big before reaching that landmark.
Turkington duelled it out with stablemate Jake Hill during qualifying – amid sweltering conditions – as the ROKiT MB Motorsport man led for much of the running, before the pair produced one final effort.
Hill’s last lap initially looked to be an improvement on his earlier benchmark, but his challenge was cut short when the #24 BMW 330e M Sport ran loose through Murrays.
Turkington, however, saved his best until last as he blasted across the start/finish line to pip Hill by just 0.065s.
Stephen Jelley thought he had completed a celebratory afternoon for BMW as he claimed third on the timesheets, ahead of Tom Ingram (Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com), but the positions were reversed post-session following a penalty for the former.
Adam Morgan’s Bavarian machine was fifth as the Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport driver edged out an impressive effort from Jason Plato in his Rich Energy BTC Racing Honda. Plato has shown well throughout the day in his Civic Type R, and he’ll be hoping for silverware as he contests his 650th BTCC race today.
Daniel Rowbottom (Halfords Racing with Cataclean), Dan Cammish (NAPA Racing UK) and Tom Chilton (Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com) were seventh, eighth and ninth respectively, whilst Ricky Collard (Toyota GAZOO Racing UK) rounded out the top ten.
Rounds 19, 20 and 21 of the 2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship take place at Snetterton tomorrow with a fantastic crowd expected to enjoy the ongoing heatwave in Norfolk.
Many more will watch the action live on ITV from 1200, with the coverage switching to ITV4 from 1500.
Colin Turkington said: “I surprised myself really there! I wasn’t going into qualifying thinking I had a shot at pole. Our free practice pace was decent but everybody seemed five or six tenths up the road from me. Granted I hadn’t put any fresh rubber on, so like always we tried to save the best for when it counts and for the last. I’m really surprised to be on pole, it wasn’t in my consciousness today given that I had no hybrid to deploy in qualifying so I got a bit of a slipstream off Stephen [Jelley] which helped negate the lack of hybrid. I think with the track temps being so high it’s just about getting the car in the window, which is what we’ve been trying to do all day. It was a bit of a one-lap wonder, but before we went out Dick [Bennetts] said ‘you only need one lap’. It makes my job easy!
“We worked the strategy well and big credit to the engineers because they got my BMW really in the window – I haven’t felt it as good as that in a long time! I think we found a tweak for my driving style which has been missing for a while, so I’m pleased with that. That’s come around quick as well, 500 races! I don’t feel that old. I don’t feel like I’ve done that many races, but I’ll try and enjoy the moment. 500 races is a massive milestone and I’m very grateful for the career I’ve had and the successes I’ve had in the BTCC; but I’m still hungry for more.”
Jake Hill said: “Fantastic job from Colin [Turkington], especially with no hybrid, leading the championship, that’s some effort! I thought I was going to pip him back just at the end, but I got too loose through Coram and Murrays and that screwed me over really. I think the hot temperatures are really helping us rear-wheel drive cars, it just felt awesome in that run there. I’m very, very proud and a huge thank you to ROKiT MB Motorsport and WSR for a brilliant result.”
2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Qualifying – Snetterton
1. Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW 1:55.805s
2. Jake HILL (GBR) ROKiT MB Motorsport +0.065s
3. Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team BMW +0.323s*
4. Tom INGRAM (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +0.344s
5. Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.379s
6. Jason PLATO (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +0.403s
7. Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.476s
8. Dan CAMMISH (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +0.512s
9. Tom CHILTON (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +0.615s
10. Ricky COLLARD (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +0.667s
11. Ash SUTTON (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +0.797s
12. Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +0.890s
13. Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +0.942s
14. Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.962s
15. George GAMBLE (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.971s
16. Árón TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +1.031s
17. Ash HAND (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +1.070s
18. Michael CREES (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +1.232s
19. Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +1.240s
20. Jack BUTEL (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +1.385s
21. Dexter PATTERSON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +1.444s
22. Josh COOK (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +1.463s
23. Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +1.552s
24. Jade EDWARDS (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +2.023s
25. Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +2.061s
26. Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +2.475s
27. Nic HAMILTON (GBR) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +2.498s
28. Will POWELL (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +3.198s
29. Rick PARFITT (GBR) Uptonsteel with Euro Car Parts Racing +3.534s
*Stephen Jelley received a one place grid penalty for an incident involving Dan Cammish
Toyota GAZOO Racing UK has had 10 points deducted from its Manufacturers'/Constructors' and Teams’ Championship scores having changed an engine above the number permitted