Team BMR’s Jason Plato will start on pole position for his five-hundredth BTCC race start after he claimed pole position at Knockhill. This is Plato’s first pole position of the 2016 season, he broke the Knockhill qualifying lap record which had been set by Andy Priaulx last year. Plato’s record lap time that secured pole position was 51.521 which was set at the end of the session. The Scottish circuit is known for being short, the times soon began tumbling down during the session. The first of the red flags to be brought out was just eight minutes into the session when AmDTuning.com’s Ollie Jackson went off at Railway Bend in his Audi S3, luckily he was able to continue after having to make a trip into the pits.
The battle for pole position swapped around during the session, Team JCT600 with GardX’s Sam Tordoff was the first driver to top the times and break Priaulx’s lap time from last year aboard the BMW with a 51.551. With just four minutes of the qualifying session remaining another red flag was brought out due to Eurotech Racing’s Jeff Smith after going off the circuit and becoming beached in gravel. Drivers then began fighting even harder for the pole position. Plato was the driver to be able to put in the quickest time when the chequered flag came out. He beat the lap record by over 0.175 of a second. Second place on the timing screen was Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram followed by West Surrey Racing’s Sam Tordoff, who was carrying 66kgs of success ballast. Team IHG’s Jack Goff finished the session in fourth place followed by Colin Turkington in fifth.
Motorbase’s Andrew Jordan finished the session in sixth with Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal finishing the session in seventh. Eighth place went to WIX Racing’s Adam Morgan with Rob Austin qualifying in ninth for Handy Motorsport. Rounding out the top ten was championship returnee Dave Newsham aboard the Power Maxed Chevrolet. The second of the Halfords Yuasa Honda’s in the hands of Gordon Shedden was only able to qualify in eleventh after carrying a turbo boost leak on the civic. Twelfth place on the grid will be Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat with MG’s Ashley Sutton in thirteenth. Next up was Team BMR’s James Cole in fourteenth followed by Motorbase’s Mat Jackson in fifteenth. Sixteenth on the grid will be Martin Depper with Josh Cook in seventeenth.
West Surrey Racing’s Rob Collard qualified in eighteenth with 77kgs of success ballast as he leads the championship. The popular driver had one of his best lap times removed for disrespecting track limits. Nineteenth on the grid will be RCIB Insurance Racing’s Jake Hill with his teammate Michael Epps alongside in twentieth. Twenty-first will be Warren Scott with Jeff Smith alongside. On the next row of the grid is Aron Smith in twenty-third and Hunter Abbott alongside in twenty-fourth. Twenty-fifth will be Matt Simpson with Daniel Welch alongside. Next up is Michael Caine in twenty-seventh with Alex Martin alongside in twenty-eighth. Stewart Lines starts in twenty-ninth with Team BKR’s Mark Howard finished the session in thirtieth. AmDTuning,com’s Ollie Jackson starts the opening race of the weekend from thirty-first on the grid after his off early in the session.
©Fay Tilley 13th August 2016.