Turkington secures pole for BTCC season opener

Reigning British Touring Car Champion Colin Turkington had the perfect start to his 2020 campaign, securing pole position for the opening round.

The top spot was fought over throughout the session at Donington, but Turkington’s best effort of 1m08.998s was enough to secure pole by just 0.087s ahead of the Team Dynamics Honda Civic of Dan Cammish.

Not only did Turkington secure pole position, but his fastest lap in his BMW 3 series was also a lap record, beating the previous one set by Jason Plato in 2014.

Speaking about his 21st BTCC pole position, Turkington said: “It just feels so good to be back driving in anger.

“We’ve almost had two pre-seasons but it’s so good to go into a full blooded qualifying session and come out on top, so big credit to Team BMW and the work we’ve been doing.

“I’m very proud of the team, we’ve worked extremely hard over the extended break.

“It has not been a break for us, we’ve kept preparing and kept trying to get better and the fact that we’ve lowered the lap time from last year, and I was on pole last year and we’ve improved on that, shows how hard we’ve been working.”

Ash Sutton had an incredible debut for Laser Tools Racing, ending up third fastest, while the Speedworks Motorsport Toyota of Tom Ingram was just behind in fourth.

Turkington’s BMW team-mate Tom Olihant had a career best qualifying result, setting a best time of 1m09.309s to go fifth, ahead of Rory Butcher who had earlier held provisional pole.

Butcher also had a moment later in the session, going off at Craner Curves, although he was able to rejoin and continue.

Jake Hill secured seventh position in his AmD Tuning car, while BTC Racing’s Josh Cook was just behind in eighth.

BTCC veteran Matt Neal was ninth fastest with a best effort of 1m09.563s, with Adam Morgan rounding out the top ten.

Nic Hamilton had a BTCC return to forget, failing to set a time in qualifying after the bonnet broke on his Volkswagen CC.

The brother of Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton will start the first race from the back of the grid.