Reigning champion Colin Turkington has taken his first Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship pole position since switching to Team BMR thanks to a stunning qualifying lap at Donington Park.
With his VW CC team-mate Jason Plato having dominated proceedings throughout practice it seemed like a foregone conclusion going into qualifying, but Britain’s premier series delivered yet again with unrivalled drama and levels of competition.
Despite leading for much of the session Plato eventually succumbed to Turkington’s stunner and further surprise was to follow when Honda’s Gordon Shedden snatched second in the closing moments.
It was a fight for pole position that will live long in the memory with the top three seemingly in a different league to the chasing pack. And so it proved as Turkington scooped top spot by just 0.056s, with only 0.013s separating Shedden and Plato behind him.
Turkington said: “We’ve made good progress through the day but it hasn’t been easy. Even going into qualifying we had a bit of an unknown package, but I think we just got the set-up right and I was clear on what I needed to do and where I needed to be strong for the lap.
“There’s quite a bit of time in me just doing everything right! Earlier today I’d been doing two good sectors and then making a mistake in the third one, so I finally got the time in when it counted and it was a brave lap as well.
“We’ve shown we have good pace with ballast – it’s there but it shouldn’t affect my performance. We’ve seen in the past that a little bit can help settle the car, but I think the result will come from me managing the car over a race distance – my right foot is more of a concern than the ballast!”