Sam Tordoff and championship leader Colin Turkington will start on the front row for the first of tomorrow's Dunlop MSA BTCC races at Rockingham.
Tordoff set the pace early on, proving that the MG6 was the weapon of choice by clocking a lap time of 1:22.471s that would remain unchallenged for the remainder of the session. Jason Plato also completed his best lap in the early running and although he made a late charge he was unable to extract any further performance from the car.
A likely MG one-two was scuppered by Turkington who again hauled his eBay Motors BMW on to the front row of the grid. Seemingly struggling for overall grip and with all three of its drivers citing minor understeer issues, Turkington produced one stellar lap that was good enough to importantly split the MGs.
It was Civic Tourer versus Civic hatchback in the battle for fourth with Honda Yuasa Racing’s Gordon Shedden seeing off reigning champion Andrew Jordan by 0.073s. Despite having to settle for a third row start Jordan’s performance throughout the day has marked a solid return to form for the Pirtek Racing driver, after a particularly difficult mid-season.
Adam Morgan’s consistent campaign continued as the WIX Racing Mercedes A Class maintained its attack on the top six. The Lancashire driver will line-up alongside Jordan in tomorrow’s opener ahead of the Quantel Bifold MG of Marc Hynes, who scored his best qualifying result in his short BTCC career so far.
Double champion Alain Menu was the first of the VW quartet on the timesheets in eighth, whilst his three Chrome Edition Restart Racing team-mates struggled to find the ultimate pace. Mat Jackson won the Airwaves Racing scrap as he pipped Italian Fabrizio Giovanardi to tenth by just 0.023s.
2013 Rockingham race-winner Rob Austin out-braked himself at turn two early on and could only manage 13th whilst his RAR stable-mate Hunter Abbott also endured a spin. Chris Stockton went off in his Chevrolet Cruze, as did the VW of Warren Scott, whilst United Autosports Glynn Geddie stopped early on with electrical problems.