Today saw the thirty-two car field in the British Touring Car Championship hit the track at Knockhill Circuit in Scotland for the qualifying session ahead of three races tomorrow. Prior to the session started the rain began to fall, making the circuit and the kerbs rather slippery. As the cars headed out onto the circuit for the first few laps of the session there was a fair bit of spray that was being kicked up. It was Team BMR’s Jason Plato that took pole position after setting his fastest lap on the final lap of the session to take his first pole position since last year at Knockhill.
After the initial laps of the session were completed it was Eurotech Racing’s Jack Goff at the top of the timing screens. Times began to tumble, then Ashley Sutton jumped onto provisional pole position before running out onto a kerb resulting in him going for a spin and kicking some mud and grass onto the circuit.

With just twenty-minutes of the session remaining the top ten were; Team BMR’s Ashley Sutton, Motorbase’s Mat Jackson, BTC Norlin’s Dave Newsham, Team BMR’s Jason Plato, Eurotech’s Jack Goff, Speedworks’ Tom Ingram, MG’s Josh Cook, Team Parker’s Stephen Jelley, WSR’s Andrew Jordan and Motorbase’s Rory Butcher.

The session was soon red flagged due to a Dunlop sign being knocked onto the circuit, causing a danger for the drivers as it would be unsighted due to its location. When the circuit went green after the marshals had rectified the issue it was Ashley Sutton who was the fastest driver through the first two sectors, whilst Mat Jackson was the fastest through the final sector.

Handy Motorsport’s Rob Austin returned to the pit lane and went through the technical checks – which resulted in all his times being removed due to failing the checks. The session was red flagged once again due to the signage needing to be replaced after being damaged and landing on the circuit at the Chicane.

The session went green with twelve minutes of the session remaining with Sutton still topping the time sheets. When the session resumed drivers were opting to bolt on the Dunlop SportMaxx slick tyres as the circuit began to dry. The sun was now shining on the circuit helping to dry the track, personal best lap times were lighting up all of the timing screen sectors.

Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Gordon Shedden briefly went fastest before Team BMW’s Colin Turkington pipped him. The latter was soon knocked down by teammate Andrew Jordan as the drivers started completing the dry tyre runs. All the drivers were now flying as the session came to an end with a dry line becoming clear.

Jason Plato went fastest when it mattered to claim pole position for the opening race of the day tomorrow.

When the chequered flag flew it was Jason Plato on pole with teammate Ashley Sutton alongside. Team BMW locked out the second row with Turkington in third and Rob Collard in fourth. Fifth place was Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram ahead of Team BMR’s James Cole in sixth. Power Maxed Racing’s Senna Proctor qualified in seventh ahead of BTC Norlin Racing’s Dave Newsham in eighth. Gordon Shedden qualified the Halfords Yuasa Racing Civic Type R in ninth with Ciceley Motorsport’s Adam Morgan rounding out the top ten.

Qualifying classification:

1) Jason Plato – Adrian Flux Subaru Racing
2)Ashley Sutton – Adrian Flux Subaru Racing
3) Colin Turkington – Team BMW
4) Rob Collard – Team BMW
5)Tom Ingram – Speedworks Motorsport
6)James Cole – Adrian Flux Subaru Racing
7)Senna Proctor – Power Maxed Racing
8)Dave Newsham – BTC Norlin Racing
9)Gordon Shedden – Halfords Yuasa Racing
10)Adam Morgan – Ciceley Motorsport
11)Josh Cook – MG Racing RCIB Insurance
12)Mat Jackson – Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo
13)Ant Whorton-Eales – with Cobra Exhausts
14)Aron Taylor-Smith – MG Racing RCIB Insurance
15)Jack Goff – Eurotech Racing
16)Jake Hill – TAG Racing
17) Andrew Jordan – BMW Pirtek Racing
18)Tom Chilton – Power Maxed Racing
19)Josh Price – A-Plan Academy
20)Stephen Jelley – Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport
21)Matt Neal – Halfords Yuasa Racing
22)Matt Simpson – Simpson Racing
23)Rob Austin – Handy Motorsport
24)Chris Smiley – BTC Norlin Racing
25)Rory Butcher – Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo
26)Will Burns – Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing
27)Aiden Moffat – Laser Tools Racing
28)Michael Epps – Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing
29)Brett Smith – Eurotech Racing
30)Ollie Jackson – with Cobra Exhausts
31)Martin Depper – Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo
32)Stewart Lines – Team Parker Maximum Motorsport


Photo source: Autosport

©Fay Tilley 13th August 2017.