BTCC: Turkington takes pole position at Donington
Reigning Champion Colin Turkington picked up from where he left off by taking pole position for the opening round of the 2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Donington Park earlier today (1 August).
Light rain added to the drama at the Leicestershire circuit, as multiple drivers battled for the top-spot during the 30-minute session.
It was Toyota man Tom Ingram who led the way after ten minutes with the Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters Corolla looking extremely competitive as it begins its second season, but soon after it was Laser Tools Racing’s Ash Sutton who hit the front.
Team BMW star Turkington would not be denied, however, as he blasted his 3-Series around 1.98-mile track in record-breaking time. In fact, some eight drivers dipped under Jason Plato’s qualifying lap record from 2014, but it was Turkington who became the first driver to circle the Donington Park National Circuit inside the 1m:08s bracket – scoring his 21st BTCC career pole position in the process.
The ultra-competitive session was further highlighted as Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Dan Cammish fell short of Turkington’s benchmark by just 0.087s – a timely reminder as to just how close the two drivers were during the 2019 season.
Sutton starred on his Laser Tools Racing debut as he hauled his Infiniti Q50 to third, whilst Ingram had to settle for fourth at the finish.
Tom Oliphant equalled his best ever qualifying result with fifth, ensuring that both manufacturer-backed BMWs will start up front tomorrow, whilst Butcher’s early flyer was still good enough for sixth.
Colin Turkington said: “It just feels so good to be back driving in anger. We’ve almost had two pre-seasons but it’s so good to go into a full blooded qualifying session and come out on top, so big credit to Team BMW and the work we’ve been doing. I’m very proud of the team, we’ve worked extremely hard over the extended break. It has not been a break for us, we’ve kept preparing and kept trying to get better and the fact that we’ve lowered the lap time from last year, and I was on pole last year and we’ve improved on that, shows how hard we’ve been working. It’s all smiles at Team BMW today. It’s been a really good start for us so I’m looking forward to all of the action again tomorrow. I’m always worried about everybody else, you see how close the times are and it’s just about putting the lap on the table when you can, when you’ve got some track time. The guys are hot on my heels so it’s not easy by any chance and it’s going to be a scrap tomorrow.”
Rounds 1, 2 and 3 of the 2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship will be screened live and exclusively on ITV4 from 10:35.
2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Qualifying – Donington Park
1 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW 1:08.998s
2 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.087s
3 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.097s
4 Tom INGRAM (GBR ) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters +0.212s
5 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +0.311s
6 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Motorbase Performance +0.331s
7 Jake HILL (GBR) MB Motorbase accelerated by Blue Square +0.389s
8 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +0.413s
9 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.569s
10 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Carlube TripleR Racing with Mac Tools +0.569s