Turkington pips Shedden and Plato to Donington pole

Reigning champion Colin Turkington took pole position for Sunday's opening BTCC race at Donington, beating Gordon Shedden and Jason Plato in a late qualifying showdown.

Turkington pips Shedden and Plato to Donington pole
Colin Turkington, Team BMR
Jason Plato, Team BMR
Andy Priaulx, Team IHG Rewards Club
Gordon Shedden, Honda Yuasa Racing
Jason Plato, Team BMR
Andrew Jordan, Triple 8 MG

After setting the fastest time in both practice sessions, Plato was the early pacesetter in qualifying, the Team BMR driver beating his own best effort from earlier in the day by one thousandth of a second with a 1m09.552s.

It was a benchmark that would remain unbeaten for some time, until Turkington, who had been third quickest in the opening stages, was able to string together a lap 0.069s quicker to seize pole position from his teammate with seven minutes of the session remaining.

"I’m really pleased to get my first pole with the Volkswagen," said Turkington. "It’s a nice confidence boost that I’m doing the right thing. I managed to get the car just to my liking in practice, which was the key to my time."

Plato threatened to respond when he set the best first sector moments later, but was unable to depose the Ulsterman after losing time later on in the lap, and later set the quickest second sector only to again fail to beat his own personal best.

Shedden then demoted Plato to third in the dying stages, putting his works Honda Civic Type-R on the front row with a time 13 thousandths quicker than Plato and 0.056s adrift of Turkington.

Adam Morgan managed to secure fourth place late on at the wheel of his Ciceley Racing Mercedes, demoting the Triple Eight MG of Andrew Jordan to fifth.

Josh Cook drove superbly to qualify the Power Maxed Chevrolet sixth, ahead of the ballast-laden Honda of Matt Neal, Sam Tordoff in the best of the West Surrey Racing BMWs, Aiden Moffat’s Mercedes and Dave Newsham’s Chevrolet.

The session was interrupted by a brief red flag period at the halfway stage, when Brands Hatch poleman Andy Priaulx pulled his WSR-run BMW 125i off the track with mechanical failure.

The Guernseyman will therefore have to fight through from 23rd on the grid in the first race on Sunday, four places behind teammate Rob Collard, who also struggled for pace.

Qualifying Results:

Pos Driver Car Time/Gap
Colin Turkington Volkswagen 1m09.483
Gordon Shedden Honda 0.056
Jason Plato Volkswagen 0.069
Adam Morgan Mercedes 0.538
Andrew Jordan MG 0.546
Josh Cook Chevrolet 0.636
Matt Neal Honda 0.696
Sam Tordoff BMW 0.710
Aiden Moffat Mercedes 0.805
10  Dave Newsham Chevrolet 0.854
11  Aron Smith Volkswagen 0.882
12  Rob Austin Audi 0.895
13  Jack Goff MG 0.895
14  Mike Bushell Ford 1.044
15  Warren Scott Volkswagen 1.060
16  Tom Ingram Toyota 1.097
17  Jeff Smith Honda 1.131
18  Martin Depper Honda 1.169
19  Rob Collard BMW 1.340
20  Alex Martin Ford 1.495
21  Hunter Abbott Audi 1.530
22  Simon Belcher Toyota 1.891
23  Andy Priaulx BMW 2.052
24  Derek Palmer Jr. Infiniti 2.447
25  Kieran Gallagher Toyota 2.582
26  Andy Wilmot Proton 3.025
27  Stewart Lines Toyota 3.413
28  Richard Hawken Infiniti 6.316
29  Daniel Welch Proton no time
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Plato dominates BTCC practice at Donington

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