DOBLE DELIGHT AFTER MAIDEN BTCC POLE POSITION
Young rookie breaks NAPA Racing UK qualifying dominance
CarStore Power Maxed Racing’s Mikey Doble claimed a phenomenal maiden Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship pole position, as he edged out at a quartet of title contenders during a pulsating qualifying session at Silverstone earlier today (23 September).
Running under the ‘Top Ten Showdown’ format for the final time this season, the opening segment proved utterly frenetic in one of the closest qualifying battles in the history of the championship.
Standings leader Ash Sutton was on the bubble with just seconds remaining of the opening half hour, but the NAPA Racing UK driver just about hung on with the top ten separated by an incredible 0.109s.
With the lap times reset for the ‘Top Ten Showdown’ it was anyone’s guess as to who would grab pole position, but Doble duly delivered the fastest lap of the weekend as he blasted his Vauxhall Astra into the 57.5s bracket.
With the overall race for the championship also hotting up, it proved to be a titanic tussle among the main protagonists with Colin Turkington (Team BMW), Tom Ingram (BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8), Jake Hill (Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport) and Sutton occupying second through to fifth on the grid for tomorrow’s opener.
BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8’s Tom Chilton – a five-time BTCC race winner at Silverstone – performed well to take sixth, ahead of NAPA Racing UK’s Dan Cammish.
Árón Taylor-Smith added to CarStore Power Maxed Racing’s celebrations with eighth, whilst TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK’s Rory Butcher – pole-sitter on each of the last two visits to Silverstone – had to settle for ninth.
Sam Osborne – the fastest NAPA Racing UK driver in the first segment around the 1.64-mile circuit – completed his best qualifying result of the season with tenth.
Rounds 25, 26 and 27 of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship take place at Silverstone tomorrow with all the action from a highly-anticipated penultimate event of the season being screened LIVE on ITV4 from 1110.
Mikey Doble said: “I can’t believe what has just happened! I mean getting into the ‘Top Ten Showdown’ was an achievement enough, but to go out and get pole and hear the engineers say ‘I don’t think anyone is going quicker’, was incredible. I’m over the moon about it.
“The thing I kept telling myself was to just not overdrive the car – we’ve had the pace all day, the car has been on rails. I can’t thank the team enough. Now we just have to go out there and do our thing.”
Colin Turkington said: “P2 is more than I thought we could achieve. It’s so close at the front – I could have been pole or sixth and there are only tenths separating us – I’m keeping good company at the front of the grid!
“Congratulations to Mikey [Doble], your first pole position is a big moment. It’s quite a few years ago for me now, but I do remember that! Power Maxed have done a good job here, but hopefully we can put them under pressure and take a podium.”
Tom Ingram said: “Firstly massive congratulations to Power Maxed and Mikey [Doble], they’ve done a good job. We’re in good shape. I think the lack of hybrid does affect it around here but I am very, very pleased to be lining up in a fairly good place for tomorrow.
“Let’s see what race day brings! I think it’ll just be a case of managing risk and bag as many points as possible!”
2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Qualifying – Silverstone
1. Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing 57.599s
2. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +0.012s
3. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +0.030s
4. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +0.045s
5. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK +0.064s
6. Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +0.111s
7. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK +0.187s
8. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.247s
9. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +0.281s
10. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +3.350s
11. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +0.155s
12. Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.166s
13. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +0.171s
14. Ronan Pearson, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +0.181s
15. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +0.263s
16. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +0.273s
17. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +0.285s
18. Bobby Thompson, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +0.328s
19. Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +0.378s
20. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +0.420s
21. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +0.444s
22. Daryl DeLeon, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +0.601s
23. George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +0.695s
24. Jack Butel, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +0.720s
25. Michael Crees, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +0.747s
26. Nick Halstead, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +0.749s
27. Jade Edwards, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +0.986s