Ash Sutton won his first pole position in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Laser Tools Racing Infiniti for tomorrow’s opening round at Knockhill.
The 26-year-old clocked a fastest lap time of 50,535 early in the session to put him in the best possible position to close the gap with the current standings and defending champion Colin Turkington.
He said: “We needed it.
It’s great to get the first pole position for the Infiniti Q50, that’s another thing that I liked. But it wasn’t easy! Obviously we have struggled with the pace in qualifying the last couple of weekends due to issues in free practice but it was nice to have a day off today.
“Obviously it’s very important to claim that little point to get Colin back to pole.
The plan is to try to overtake him from there and it’s our perfect chance. We haven’t been in yet. this position this year, so now is our time. Better to try and do something about this point gap between us. ”
Turkington looked to line up alongside Sutton for Round 10 of the series, but a late charge from MB Motorsport accelerated by Jake Hill of Blue Square downgraded him to third.
“I’m just happy to be able to take the top spot, this is my first start in the front row in terms of pace in qualifying which is absolutely fantastic. It was just great to be able to do a lap together. . I knew it. It was in me. We thought maybe a 50.7 was on the cards, but taking a 50.588 was great, I’m in pieces. ”
Dan Cammish finished fourth ahead of Tom Ingram’s Toyota in fifth place.
Home favorite and circuit director of event operations Rory Butcher failed to make a hat-trick in BTCC pole position and had to settle for sixth place in the Ford Focus Motorbase.
Mike Bushell impressed alone in the Vauxhall Astra Power Maxed Car Care Racing setting the seventh fastest time. Tomorrow he will try to open his account to score points, after an unfortunate first appearance of the season last time at Oulton Park.
Aiden Moffat finished eighth in the second Infiniti, his best qualifying performance of the season to date.
Behind him was Matt Neal who may have finished higher on the calendar but in a major crash that temporarily interrupted the session. His Honda team are now facing a race against time to fully repair the car for tomorrow’s races. Neal, who was himself checked by the track medical team immediately after the crash, will also undergo a second medical assessment tomorrow to decide if he’s fit to race.
Tom Oliphant completed the top ten in second BMW just four tenths of a second off Sutton’s benchmark time.
The opening match of the day kicks off at 11:10 am and will be broadcast live on ITV2.