Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal will start the opening encounter of the weekend from pole position after setting the pace during the qualifying session at Oulton Park. This is the triple champions second pole positon in a row after taking his first pole position in five years last time out at Thruxton.
Andrew Jordan led the way early in the session after enduring two difficult frustrating weekends at Donington and Thruxton. He certainly looked to be bouncing back at the wheel of the ballast free BMW 125i M Sport. The Oulton Park circuit has always been a good circuit for the rear wheel drive BMWs, this was underlined by Rob Collard and Colin Turkington later in the session.
Two Honda Civic Type Rs run by Team Dynamics endured off track excursions. Reigning champion Gordon Shedden recovered from a slide a Cascades during the session. Matt Simpson was not as lucky, he ran wide at the exit of Druids and then speared off into the barrier on the inside of the track as he attempted to correct the car. The red flags were brought out to allow recovery to take place for the stricken Honda.
Laser Tools’ Aiden Moffat, Adrian Flux Subaru Racing’s Ashley Sutton and Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo’s Mat Jackson all joined Neal and Jordan at the top of the timing screens just as the red flags came out.
Once the session went green again there were just five minutes on the clock…the five-minute shootout began to determine their final grid positions. Improvements were rare within the field.
Team BMW’s Colin Turkington was sat down the order in the twenties but he produced some blinding laps to get his heavy BMW up to fourth place ahead of Shedden’s Honda.
As the chequered flag flew it was Neal on pole with Andrew Jordan alongside ahead of Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat. The young talented Scotsman was once again showing his strength following his maiden victory earlier in the season. Colin Turkington and Gordon Shedden were next up on the timing sheets ahead of Adrian Flux Subaru Racing’s Ash Sutton in sixth. Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo’s Mat Jackson and Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport’s Josh Cook were next up in their Ford Focuses in seventh and eighth respectively. Team BMW’s Rob Collard and Power Maxed Racing’s Senna Proctor rounded out the top ten.
Adrian Flux Subaru Racing’s Jason Plato spun in his Subaru Levorg before having to settle for eighteenth on the grid. Power Maxed Racing’s Tom Chilton was unable to get a clear lap in the session to show his pace, finishing the session in a low twenty-seventh.
The top twenty-five drivers were covered by just over one second, the entire thirty-two drivers were covered by 1.797 seconds. Unfortunately, it was Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo’s Martin Depper was the unlucky driver who will start the opening race from the back of the grid after a heavy off during the final five minutes of the qualifying session.
Qualifying Classification – Oulton Park:
- Matt Neal – Halfords Yuasa Racing – 1:26.151s
- Andrew Jordan – BMW Pirtek Racing – + 0.126s
- Aiden Moffat – Laser Tools Racing – + 0.249s
- Colin Turkington – Team BMW – + 0.458s
- Gordon Shedden – Halfords Yuasa Racing – + 0.461s
- Ashley Sutton – Adrian Flux Subaru Racing – + 0.511s
- Mat Jackson – Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo – + 0.549s
- Josh Cook – Team Parker Racing with Maximum Motorsport – + 0.571s
- Rob Collard – Team BMW – + 0.587s
- Jake Hill – TAG Racing – + 0.650s
- Tom Ingram – Speedworks Motorsport – + 0.668s
- Jack Goff – Eurotech Racing – + 0.689s
- Michael Epps – Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing – + 0.728s
- Rob Austin – Handy Motorsport – + 0.791s
- Matt Simpson – Simpson Motorsport – + 0.812s
- Senna Proctor – Power Maxed Racing – + 0.819
- Jason Plato – Adrian Flux Subaru Racing – + 0.823s
- Jeff Smith – Eurotech Racing – + 0.894s
- Ant Whorton-Eales – AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts – + 0.980s
- Adam Morgan – Ciceley Motorsport – + 0.996
- James Cole – Adrian Flux Subaru Racing – + 1.002s
- Ollie Jackson – AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts – + 1.005s
- Stephen Jelley – Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport – + 1.017s
- Luke Davenport – Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo – + 1.089s
- Aron Taylor-Smith – MG Racing RCIB Insurance – + 1.115s
- Daniel Lloyd – MG Racing RCIB Insurance – + 1.181s
- Will Burns – Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing – + 1.242s
- Dave Newsham – BTC Norlin Racing – + 1.288s
- Chris Smiley – BTC Norlin Racing – + 1.451s
- Tom Chilton – Power Maxed Racing – + 1.465
- Josh Price – Adrian Flux Subaru Racing – + 1.669s
- Martin Depper – Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo – + 1.797s
Photo Credit; BTCC.net
©Fay Tilley 20th May 2017