Priaulx beats the BMR hordes to bag pole

West Surrey Racing's Andy Priaulx enjoyed a dream BTCC return during qualifying for the season opening rounds at Brands Hatch, as he held off an assault from Team BMR to clinch pole position.

Priaulx beats the BMR hordes to bag pole
Andy Priaulx, Team IHG Rewards Club
Colin Turkington, Team BMR
Andrew Jordan, Triple Eight Racing MG
Jason Plato, Team BMR
Rob Austin, Exocet Alcosense

The BMW driver set his best time, a 48.411s, just before red flags were shown with 10 minutes of the session remaining as Martin Depper's Eurotech Honda Civic shed a wheel.

Once proceedings got back under way, the amount of traffic on the circuit ensured that Priaulx's time would remain unbeaten, although Aron Smith's BMR Volkswagen CC came very close with a best effort falling just 0.069s shy in the closing moments.

The Irishman's team-mates Jason Plato and Colin Turkington will share the second row, the pair separated by one thousandth of a second in the final reckoning, both having set fastest first sectors late on only to have their hopes of denying Priaulx dashed.

Rob Collard made it two BMWs in the top five with fifth place, while Jack Goff's MG and Gordon Shedden's Honda both recovered from offs during the session to set the sixth and seventh best times, both within two tenths of Priaulx's benchmark.

Sam Tordoff (WSR BMW), Tom Ingram (Speedworks Toyota) and Andrew Jordan (Triple Eight MG) completed the top 10, just ahead of the second works Civic Type-R of Matt Neal after the three-time series champion was shuffled all the way down from the fifth place he held when the red flags were shown.

 

Pos  Driver  Car  Time/ Gap 
Andy Priaulx BMW 48.411
Aron Smith Volkswagen 0.069
Jason Plato Volkswagen 0.123
Colin Turkington Volkswagen 0.124
Rob Collard BMW 0.151
Jack Goff MG 0.188
Gordon Shedden Honda 0.197
Sam Tordoff BMW 0.220
Tom Ingram Toyota 0.232
10  Andrew Jordan MG 0.245
11  Matt Neal Honda 0.283
12  Adam Morgan Mercedes 0.306
13  Rob Austin Audi 0.484
14  Dave Newsham Chevrolet 0.500
15  Aiden Moffat Mercedes 0.520
16  Hunter Abbott Audi 0.553
17  Jeff Smith Honda 0.690
18  Mike Bushell Ford 0.956
19  Martin Depper Honda 1.081
20  Josh Cook Chevrolet 1.106
21  Alex Martin Ford 1.164
22  Simon Belcher Toyota 1.222
23  Stewart Lines Toyota 2.185
24  Derek Palmer Infiniti 2.198
25  Kieran Gallagher Toyota 2.351
26  Andy Wilmot Proton 4.254

 

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