Tom Ingram gave his outside title chances a boost by claiming pole position for the final round of the 2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season.
The Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters driver mastered the wet conditions to lap the Brands Hatch Indy circuit in 54.950 seconds to ensure he will start the first of tomorrow’s three races from pole position.
Ingram said: “That was super tricky, it was really slippery! It took quite a while to get into a rhythm because the circuit felt very different from Free Practice, so we were actually chasing some of the set up during the session. My engineer came over the radio with some really inspired set up choices which we went with and it just transformed the car. It was a challenging session but I’m very, very pleased to get it done.
“I feel really relaxed this weekend, more than any other event previously, I think it’s probably because there’s no direct pressure on me? I can do the best job I can, qualify on pole and win all three races tomorrow, but if everyone else we’re fighting against is directly behind then it’s null and void. The team and I can only do the best job we can, and if it’s enough, it’s enough. So I feel very relaxed, very chilled, which actually is a nice place to be.”
He will be joined on the front row by fellow outside title hopeful Rory Butcher in the Motorbase Performance Ford Focus.
Laser Tools Racing’s Ash Sutton and Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Dan Cammish will line up on the second row as four of the five title protagonists locked out the top four with just 0.083 seconds covering them.
Defending champion Colin Turkington, who leads the standings by nine points from Sutton, could only manage eighth fastest as he lugged maximum ballast around the Kent track.
Separating Turkington from his title rivals on the grid will be Ollie Jackson in the second Motorbase Ford, Jake Hill, and Matt Neal, who will line up fifth, sixth and seventh respectively.
Hill, who yesterday announced he would remain with the MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square squad for 2021, secured his top six slot despite crashing at Paddock Hill Bend late in the session.
Paul Rivett and Josh Cook rounded out the top ten, with both drivers less than half a second away from Ingram’s benchmark time.
Coverage of the final day of the season begins at 9:20 tomorrow on ITV4 with the opening race getting underway at 10:00.