Croft BTCC: Jordan takes pole in red flag-strewn qualifying
Andrew Jordan scored a bizarre pole position at Croft in a red flag-strewn BTCC qualifying during which joint points leader Rory Butcher suffered a heavy crash.
WSR driver Jordan claimed his first pole since Thruxton 2014 but caused the final of five red flags in a heavily interrupted session to end proceedings prematurely.
Practice pacesetter Dan Cammish threw down the early gauntlet in his Honda before the BMWs of reigning champion Colin Turkington and Jordan responded to go top.
But then the first red flag was waved only seven minutes into the session when a bail was clipped at the Jim Clark Esses and knocked onto the circuit.
After a brief delay the session was resumed but another stoppage came just four minutes later, which meant drivers did not have a chance to improve and only 15 runners had set a banker lap.
The second incident was caused by Nicholas Hamilton who, on cold tyres, ran wide on the exit of the chicane and smashed his Ford into the tyre stack, which forced the Motorbase driver to halt his car on the run to Tower.
When the session restarted there was only a further two minutes of incident free running as Tom Ingram clipped the bail at the Esses to drag it onto the circuit.
Team Hard driver Michael Crees then rounded the corner unsighted and hit it head on in his Volkswagen.
Four minutes of running again did not allow a big enough window for drivers to heat their tyres and improve before a fourth red flag incident.
Butcher had fallen foul of the interrupted session and was yet to post a flying lap. He had set a very competitive first sector but lost the rest of his lap for the Crees shunt.
Butcher ran wide on the exit of Clervaux and kicked up dust, which combined with his cold right-rear tyre meant he suffered a massive spin on the exit of the chicane and buried his AMD Tuning car into the barriers.
The stoppage was far longer as the tyre wall required repairs, during which time light rain arrived over the circuit and so it looked like Jordan was on course for pole.
But as the shootout resumed he improved his time in a mad dash during what should have been the final 13 minutes.
However, Jordan suffered a puncture on a quick lap and consequently lost the car on the run into the complex and spun across the track for a fifth red flag.
As the rain fall increased the chequered flag was waved with lap time improvements looking unlikely.
For causing a red flag, Jordan had his fastest lap wiped out but his second effort of 1m21.734s was still enough for pole.
Chris Smiley was 0.148s off in second ahead of Tom Chilton and Turkington.
Fellow BMW driver Tom Oliphant rounded out the top five ahead of Ash Sutton and Cammish.
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