For the first time ever the entire grid was separated by less than a second with just 0.886 seconds from Goff Honda Civic on Pole to Steven Jelley’s Ford Focus at the back.
Goff secured pole by just 0.001s from Tom Ingram in his Speedworks Toyota Avensis. The same two drivers had headed the second practice session but now was when it actually mattered and both headed the field once again, with Goff’s time of 58.653 just edging it over Ingram.
Goff explained it hadn’t been easy;
“The car was pretty lairy actually but brilliant to drive,” he said afterwards. “To get pole in the Type R, which isn’t as suited as some to Silverstone, is a great achievement.”
He explained that he’d actually lost a time earlier in the session due to an infringement;
“On the in-lap, I was aware how close it was. I had my best time disallowed due to exceeding track limits and that would have been a tenth up on what we finished with, so a slap on the wrist for me there.
The car’s great and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Hopefully we can get away well and have a clean race.”
Adam Morgan’s Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes was next up behind the front row duo, just 0.049 seconds off pole, he’d said his car was ‘On Rails’. On a circuit which doesn’t usually favour the manufacturer backed Honda team, Matt Neal’s fourth was impressive.
Heading row three was Team Hard’s Jake Hill in his VW CC just in front of Rob Austin’s Handy Motorsport Toyota. Austin and Handy will be swapping the Toyota for an Alfa Romeo next season but are showing that their Avensis still has the capability to be a front runner.
Ant Whorton-Eales was an amazing seventh for AMD Tuning with Cobra Exhausts, his best qualifying result of his career so far. He was also the highest placed Rookie on the grid.
Two of the title contenders were next Colin Turkington taking eighth in his BMW with Ash Sutton’s Subaru in tenth. Splitting them in ninth was the second Eurotech Civic of Brett Smith having his best qualifying since taking over from his Father Jeff, who was injured at Croft.
Turkington was satisfied with where he had ended up on the grid
“I’m content with qualifying,” claimed Turkington. “I’m eighth so it’s hard to be beaming but all things considered, I am content. I wouldn’t say I’m happy though. The car’s feeling good and it’s a decent position to go from tomorrow. You have to fight for every point, especially at this stage of the season. Every point matters and you’ve got to be on the attack in the session, getting everything out of the car.
We’ll reset tonight and see where we are in the morning. I’ll be focussing on my own game.”
Eleventh was Jason Plato’s Subaru and he has title contender and defending champion Gordon Shedden alongside him in his Manufacturer backed Honda Civic.
Worst off of all the title contenders was Rob Collard, all the way down in 22nd. He has a lot to do to keep his title battle alive but in terms of performance he was less than half a second off pole.
Rob Huff, who is replacing Tom Chilton at Power maxed Racing this weekend, put his manufacturer backed Vauxhall Astra on only the fourteenth row in twenty eighth place with team mate Senna Proctor in twenty ninth, both cars still of course less than a second off pole. Chilton is recovering from a minor operation and is under doctor’s orders not to race.
Josh Cook starts eighteenth in his MG. He has a one race ban hanging over him after Rockingham resulted in him getting his fourth and final strike over driving incidents. He appealed the decision here at Silverstone but lost the appeal. However the team have now taken the matter to the MSA national court which won’t hear the case until after the season so Cook will now complete 2017 without serving the ban. It remains to be seen what will happen to him after the court make their judgement.
With the grid this close, the three races tomorrow are almost guaranteed to be very exciting. Tickets are available on the gate at Silverstone or you can watch all the action on ITV4 from 11am.
2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Qualifying – Silverstone
1 Jack GOFF (GBR) Eurotech Racing 58.653s (100.68mph)
2 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +0.001s
3 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +0.049s
4 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.155s
5 Jake HILL (GBR) TAG Racing +0.164s
6 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +0.229s
7 Ant WHORTON-EALES (GBR) AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts +0.233s
8 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.240s
9 Brett SMITH (GBR) Eurotech Racing +0.261s
10 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +0.277s
11 Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +0.298s
12 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.320s
13 James COLE (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +0.326s
14 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +0.362s
15 Dave NEWSHAM (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +0.369s
16 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +0.389s
17 Mat JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +0.408s
18 Josh COOK (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +0.429s
19 Josh PRICE (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +0.435s
20 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +0.445s
21 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts +0.447s
22 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +0.463s
23 Martin DEPPER (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +0.525s
24 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.526s
25 Michael EPPS (GBR) TAG Racing +0.574s
26 Will BURNS (GBR) Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing +0.587s
27 Aron TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +0.617s
28 Rob HUFF (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +0.638s
29 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +0.773s
30 Stewart LINES (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +0.807s
31 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +0.842s
32 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +0.886 By Marc Waller