‘KING OF CROFT’ TURKINGTON TAKES POLE
Four-time BTCC champion delivers in style during qualifying
Team BMW’s Colin Turkington took pole position for Round 13 of the 2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship after producing a quite brilliant lap during qualifying at Croft.
Turkington – having experienced one of the biggest accidents of his illustrious career last time out at Oulton Park – had to ease himself back into the action as the day began, but the four-time champion continued to improve throughout the session that really mattered.
Not only that, but West Surrey Racing had to rebuild Turkington’s 2019 title-winning BMW 3 Series, with his latest car too damaged to be repaired in time for the trip to North Yorkshire.
The ultimate challenge was laid down to Turkington when he was languishing down the order in the final ten minutes, but the Northern Irishman saved his best effort until the closing moments as he set a new qualifying lap record of 1:21.468s.
Halfords Racing with Cataclean’s Dan Rowbottom clocked his own impressive last gasp flier to complete the front row of the grid, whilst Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com’s Daniel Lloyd almost wrote his own fairytale story.
Home hero Lloyd – hospitlalised following the aforementioned Oulton Park accident – has been through a very similar fortnight to that of Turkington, whilst his team produced a Herculean effort to repair his severely damaged Hyundai.
The Yorkshireman looked on course for a first ever BTCC career pole position until he was pipped to the post by Turkington and Rowbottom, but the 30-year-old was still rewarded with third ahead of team-mate Tom Ingram.
Gordon Shedden ensured that both Halfords Racing with Cataclean Hondas qualified inside the top five, whilst ROKiT MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill was sixth.
NAPA Racing UK’s Ash Sutton was next in the order, ahead of the EXCELR8 Motorsport-run Hyundai of Tom Chilton.
Young chargers – George Gamble (Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport) and Aiden Moffat (Laser Tools Racing) – completed the top ten.
A number of top contenders hit trouble during a session interrupted by three red flag stoppages.
Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport’s Adam Morgan could only manage 17th following an early accident at Clervaux, whilst Rich Energy BTC Racing’s Josh Cook was stranded down in 20th after the championship leader suffered damage to his Honda Civic Type R.
Rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship take place at Croft Circuit tomorrow with the action also being broadcast live and exclusively on ITV4 from 1130.
Colin Turkington said: “It’s always easier when you’re in the car, when you’re out of the car you feel the aches and pains, but this is my trusted 2019-winning car. Team BMW has had a massive job to basically rebuild this car again from the crashed car at Oulton Park, so it’s been all hands on deck and a lot of late nights. If I’m making a comeback anywhere, I want it to be Croft, so yesterday in shakedown I really wasn’t feeling it, but I chipped away at it today, improved the car and improved my technique, and the magic happened again in qualifying. No explanations as to why but I’ve always enjoyed driving at Croft – it’s been good to me.”
Dan Rowbottom said: “Not quite close enough to match Colin [Turkington] but it was a good lap. The car’s been good all day, Gordon [Shedden] and I were P1 and P2 in FP2 as well, the team gave me a good car. I think we’ve always said it’s traditionally a rear-wheel drive circuit at Croft, but since they resurfaced it a few years ago I don’t think that’s quite true. We’ll take the challenge to them for sure. The guys have worked really hard. It’s no secret that we struggled at the start of the season I think. They gave us good cars at Oulton but it didn’t really go our way, so we’ll try and reward everyone before the summer break with some good results tomorrow.”
Dan Lloyd said: “That was an amazing session. I can’t help but feel that little bit of disappointment in the end, it was amazing to be P1 for a while but that was brilliant, really happy with third and a big congrats to Colin [Turkington] as well. We were both involved in that incident and been through a lot over the last couple of weeks. It might have been nice to see him one behind, but I think we’ve got some really good pace. I just want to say thank you to everyone at EXCELR8 for working so hard to get the car ready for the weekend.”
2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Qualifying – Croft
1. Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW 1:21.468s
2. Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.027s
3. Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +0.063s
4. Tom INGRAM (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +0.076s
5. Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.112s
6. Jake HILL (GBR) ROKiT MB Motorsport +0.168s
7. Ash SUTTON (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +0.317s
8. Tom CHILTON (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +0.329s
9. George GAMBLE (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.354s
10. Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.360s
11. Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +0.365s
12. Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team BMW +0.453s
13. Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +0.461s
14. Dan CAMMISH (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +0.519s
15. James GORNALL (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +0.541s
16. Ricky COLLARD (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +0.559s
17. Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.575s
18. Jason PLATO (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +0.601s
19. Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +0.803s
20. Josh COOK (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +0.812s
21. Michael CREES (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.831s
22. Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +0.861s
23. Ash HAND (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.927s
24. Árón TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +1.268s
25. Jade EDWARDS (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +1.313s
26. Nic HAMILTON (GBR) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +2.263s
27. Will POWELL (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +2.635s
28. Dexter PATTERSON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing NO TIME