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Turkington takes pole in Snetterton BTCC qualifying

Saturday, October 24 2020

Reigning champion Colin Turkington signalled his intent to hang on to his Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship title by producing a sensational lap during the top ten qualifying showdown at Snetterton.

Series Organiser TOCA announced at the start of the season that Snetterton would host a one-off qualifying format to add yet further entertainment to this season, and the format duly delivered with an unforgettable battle for supremacy.

Replacing the usual 30-minute session, drivers had a marginally reduced window of 25 minutes to record their lap times. The fastest ten competitors were then able to progress to a ten minute pole position session to determine the top ten places on the grid, which the leading sextet of championship contenders all made it through to.

The main drama of the opening 25-minute segment was seemingly the fate of standings leader Ash Sutton who was hovering on the bubble towards the end of the session, but the Laser Tools Racing star produced the good to storm into third late on.

Rory Butcher grabbed those early bragging rights by topping that session in his Motorbase Performance Ford Focus, at a venue where the Scot led the way during a two-day test earlier in the summer.

Adam Morgan also impressed as he blasted into second in the Mac Tools-backed Mercedes, but he would fail to make any ground in the 'Top Ten Showdown'.

With the tension building and the leading protagonists all challenging for the unique pole position it had seemed like MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square's Jake Hill would be grabbing a maiden top spot in a BTCC qualifying session, as the Kent driver set a fantastic benchmark.

With the championship contenders all carrying significant success-ballast it was unclear if anyone would be able to challenge Hill's impressive time, as Tom Ingram fell short by just 0.018s in the Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters Corolla.

Just when it looked like the game was up, the Team BMW 3 Series of Turkington blitzed around the Snetterton 300 in sublime fashion as the #1 machine vaulted to P1 in the closing minutes.

It was a hugely impressive effort from the four-time champion as he looks to fightback following a dismal weekend at Croft last time out. Turkington enjoyed a points advantage over the chasing pack during the first half of the season but challenging weekends at Thruxton, Silverstone and Croft have left the Northern Irishman playing catch-up.

The 38-year-old has proved he's more than ready to fight, however, as he produced one of the most important qualifying laps of his BTCC career.

Hill held second from Ingram at the finish with the other quartet of title contenders - Rory Butcher, Dan Cammish, Ash Sutton and Tom Oliphant - next in the order.

Motorbase Performance's Ollie Jackson and Laser Tools Racing's Aiden Moffat did well to make the 'Top Ten Shootout' but could only manage eighth and ninth respectively during the super fast session, whilst Morgan lost his two best lap times due to track limit infringements and will line up tenth for tomorrow's opener.

Rounds 22, 23 and 24 of the 2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship take place at Snetterton tomorrow with all the action being screened live and exclusively on ITV4 from 1005.

2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship - Top Ten Showdown - Snetterton

1        Colin TURKINGTON (GBR)  Team BMW 1:56.858
2        Jake HILL (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +0.192s
3        Tom INGRAM (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters +0.210s
4        Rory BUTCHER (GBR)  Motorbase Performance +0.225s
5        Dan CAMMISH (GBR)  Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.336s
6        Ashley SUTTON (GBR)  Laser Tools Racing +0.461s 
7        Tom OLIPHANT (GBR)  Team BMW +0.635s
8        Ollie JACKSON (GBR)  Motorbase Performance +0.688s
9        Aiden MOFFAT (GBR)  Laser Tools Racing +0.781s
10      Adam MORGAN (GBR)  Carlube TripleR Racing with Mac Tools +6.882s

Click here to view the full qualifying order.