Gordon Shedden took second on the grid in his Yuasa Honda Civic Tourer, splitting the Tesco M’s with Sam Tordoff in third on his birthday. Shedden’s second place will be the first time in BTCC history that an estate type car will start a race on the front row. (The previous Volvo 850’s from 1994 having never had the same success.)
Colin Turkington was back up the front after a slow FP2 in fourth. Aron Smith and Alain Menu are next up on the grid in fifth and sixth, Smith may be disappointed with this having been in the top two for the rest of the day. Andrew Jordan was next up in seventh with Jack Goff an excellent eighth in his Vauxhall Insignia. Matt Neal was ninth nearly half a second off his teammate’s pace. Marc Hynes took the final position in the top ten, a career best starting position of his short BTCC career. Fabrizio Giovanardi narrowly missed out on the top ten but was the best of the Ford Focus, with team mate Mat Jackson back in sixteenth and Jack Clarke from Crabbies racing all the way back in twenty sixth. AMD Tuning will be in nineteenth on the grid with Dave Newsham, meaning Jo, who you can read about in our behind the scenes feature will have a long walk!
Adam Morgan lost some of his times after failing the ride height test and on his second attempt could only manage seventeenth.
The entire top ten all set a fast enough time to have taken pole at the same race last season showing how far the car’s performance has moved on this year and also how competitive things are. From first to seventeenth, over half the grid, are separated by only slightly more than a second.
Full standings are on TSL.
The first BTCC race gets underway tomorrow at just after 11:35am but track action starts from 9:25am. Tickets are available on the gate at Donington or you can catch the day live on ITV4 as always. We’ll be bringing you reports from all three races. By Marc Waller