Jackson takes the first ever Motorbase BTCC pole at Rockingham

Jackson couldnt be caught (Photo by Marc Waller)

Jackson couldnt be caught (Photo by Marc Waller)Mat Jackson has taken pole at Rockingham, his first since 2009 and the first ever pole for Motorbase in the BTCC.

It was nearly Déjà vu as there was a red flag late in the session as had happened at Knockhill. Then Jackson had been on pole only to have it snatched away but this time his time was good enough and he remained on pole.

It was close though with second placed Aron Smith just 0.050 seconds behind, the quickest of the BMR drivers. Shedden was one of the drivers to improve late in the session with a stunning lap in his Honda Civic Type R moving up to third and ahead of his championship rivals. It was all the more impressive as he is carrying success ballast.

Jack Goff took fourth in his MG, the quickest of the works duo with Jordan down in tenth in his Pirtek liveried machine. Jordan had been the quicker of the two in the second practice session
Tom Ingram continues his impressive weekend with fifth on the grid. He had looked set for a front row start earlier in the session but was but was bumped down the order by drivers improving as the session went on. So far this season, bad luck has stopped him turning good qualifying sessions into good results so he’ll be hoping that luck will finally be on his side on Sunday.

Ballast laden Jason Plato won’t be too unhappy with sixth as he remains in touch with rival Shedden with just two cars between them. His other rival, Matt Neal starts just behind in seventh not able to reproduce the quick lap of team mate Shedden, he was still only 3 tenths off pole.

Goff was best MG (Photo by Marc Waller) Smith was the best of the BMR cars (Photo by Marc Waller) Sheddens late lap launched him up the grid (Photo by Marc Waller) Moffat flew to his best qualifying position (Photo by Marc Waller)

Aiden Moffat continued his successful run after his first podium at Knockhill, he took eighth, easily his best qualifying position of the season having only started higher in reverse grid races. After being given the podium finish in the stewards room at Knockhill, he finally got to celebrate it earlier in the day on the actual podium at Rockingham. The other championshio contenders were next Turkington just in front of Jordan with Tordoff in eleventh.

Josh Cook is twelfth after his excellent runs in the two earlier sessions he might be a little disappointed to fall outside the top ten but he is only just over half a second off pole. Thirteenth was Rob Austin well ahead now of Hunter Abbott who had gone so well in qualifying. Abbott could only make eighteenth this time. James Cole, Mat Jackson’s team mate was a long way off his team-mates position but in terms of pace was just 0.644 of a second off. Taking the final spot in the front half of the field was Warren Scott of BMR.

The late Red flag was caused by the Infiniti of Derek Palmer who got stuck in the gravel at the Tarzan hairpin. He had been a lot higher up the field than usual early in the session but once he was out of the session he tumbled down to twenty seventh. The entire top twenty is separated by just over a second meaning we should be in for some close racing once again on Sunday.
Full times are on TSL Timing;

If you fancy seeing some great racing in person, tickets are available on the gate. All tickets include Grandstand access and with views of 99% of the circuit from the top you won’t miss a thing! Alternatively you can watch all three races live on itv4 as well as several of the support races including the Historic Super Tourers who are racing this weekend in place of the Porsche Carrera Cup.  By Marc Waller

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