Colin Turkington took advantage of just 15kg of success ballast and some nifty teamwork to claim pole position at Knockhill for tomorrow’s opening Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship event sponsored by Lokring UK in association with Cataclean – all supported by EventScotland.
With just 4 minutes remaining in the session, Turkington slotted in behind his two BMW teammates to record a lap time of 50.836s to claim top spot. Ash Sutton in the Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50 and BTC Racing’s Josh Cook had made the early running, sitting abreast of the field for most of the session. Indeed, the rear-wheel drive cars were looking really strong with Turkington, Sutton and Oliphant occupying three of the top four grid slots with 17 minutes of the session remaining.
17-minutes around Knockhill is a long time however, and as the time began to tick down the order began to shuffle once again. There were off track excursions for Goff, Osborne, Cook, Sutton, Morgan and Parfitt, with Parfitt and Morgan causing Red Flag situations – thereby eliminating themselves from any further participation in qualifying. And, in Parfitt’s case hugely frustrating after only being on circuit long enough to record three official laps.
The Scots – Aiden, Rory and Gordon – where there or thereabouts for the entire session, occupying P4, P5 and P6 on occasions – however their sessions would wilt as first Proctor soared to the top of the times, then further improvements from Smiley and the eventual pole lap for Turkington pushed the home drivers further down the order; with Moffat the best placed Scot in P7 for race one tomorrow. Butcher starts P8 and Shedden will line up from P11 after being ousted from the top ten in the final moments of the session.
It’s not where the home trio would have liked to have finished, a front row grid position at Knockhill is one of the most important factors to set us a successful weekend – so work to do – especially for the front-wheel drive duo of Shedden and Butcher.
That said, Knockhill can throw up all sorts of obstacles and drama – as we’ve seen in the past. What is sure though, it’s going to be extremely tight this weekend with no less than 27 cars all within a second of each other in qualifying – that should translate to the track action tomorrow and we should see some bumper-to-bumper racing throughout the BTCC field.
Early title protagonists Tom Ingram (P2) and Dan Rowbottom (P3) ended the session P9 and P19 respectively, however, it was the performance of Sutton, with 75kg on board during qualifying that will have the Paddock casting one eye to the Laser Tools Racing squad overnight. He’ll line up P6 for the first race tomorrow and will no doubt be casting his mind back to 2020 when he secured a double-race win ahead of pole-sitter Turkington in the opening two races last year.
“It’s really good to be back out at the front. I enjoy it here and it’s a good track for the BMW. This wasn’t one of the tracks we planned to slip stream at, it was just pot-luck and happily it worked in my favour today. I’m confident with the car and believe I can score some good points tomorrow,” exclaimed the four-time BTCC Champion.
Join us tomorrow for some exhilarating race action from both the BTCC and the spectacular support series here this weekend. Tickets can be booked online 24/7 for tomorrow’s Lokring UK sponsored raceday. Tickets will also be available at the gate, however, pre booking online – even on your journey up to the track – helps us get everyone into the venue faster. Gates open at 7:30am and we look forward to welcoming a full house to Knockhill once again.