Knockhill BTCC: Rob Austin grabs pole, Colin Turkington second
|By Matt James||Saturday, August 24th 2013, 15:03 GMT|
Audi racer Rob Austin scored a shock pole position for the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Knockhill this weekend.
The Rob Austin Racing A4 man grabbed top spot with 12 minutes to go with a lap time of 52.471s and was able to fend off a late attack from the WSR BMW of Colin Turkington, who made it an all rear-wheel-drive front row. Turkington was just 0.047s adrift.
"I went all out into the chicane," said Austin. "When the car came out the other side and it was still on its wheels, that was an awesome feeling.
"The car is good, what can I say? I am thrilled."
Behind Turkington's BMW, Andrew Jordan scorched to third place in his Eurotech Honda.
The Independents' Trophy leader faces a six-place relegation on the grid however, after a penalty during the previous round at Snetterton at the start of August.
That promotes the works Honda of champion Gordon Shedden to third spot, the circuit's commercial director just 0.1s away from pole position.
Jason Plato took his MG to fourth place ahead of Shedden's team-mate Matt Neal, who is carrying the full 45kg of success ballast because he is the championship leader.
The dramatic session was halted when Warren Scott crashed his Team BMR Volkswagen at McIntyre's corner. He returned to the pits in his damaged car, but the tyre wall needed repairs.
Later on in the 30-minute period, returnee Paul O'Neill slid into the back of his Team Hard team-mate, newcomer Kieran Gallagher, under braking for the hairpin. O'Neill was forced to pull out of the session with damage.
The last time an Audi qualified on pole position for a BTCC round was also at Knockhill, when Frank Biela set the fastest time back in 1997.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Rob Austin Austin Audi 52.471s 2. Colin Turkington WSR BMW 52.518s +0.047s 3. Gordon Shedden Honda 52.581s +0.110s 4. Jason Plato MG 52.650s +0.179s 5. Matt Neal Honda 52.652s +0.181s 6. Adam Morgan Ciceley Toyota 52.675s +0.204s 7. Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota 52.847s +0.376s 8. Sam Tordoff MG 52.853s +0.382s 9. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Honda 52.563s +0.092s 10. Daniel Welch Welch Proton 52.885s +0.414s 11. Aron Smith Motorbase Ford 52.923s +0.452s 12. Rob Collard WSR BMW 52.934s +0.463s 13. Tom Onslow-Cole Hard Volkswagen 52.949s +0.478s 14. Dave Newsham Speedworks Toyota 52.958s +0.487s 15. Nick Foster WSR BMW 52.961s +0.490s 16. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 53.031s +0.560s 17. Mike Bushell IP Tech Chevrolet 53.179s +0.708s 18. Paul O'Neill Hard Vauxhall 53.262s +0.791s 19. Ollie Jackson Speedworks Toyota 53.304s +0.833s 20. Warren Scott BMR Volkswagen 53.768s +1.297s 21. Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford 54.049s +1.578s* 22. Lea Wood Wood Vauxhall 54.134s +1.663s* 23. David Nye Welch Ford 54.158s +1.687s* 24. Kieran Gallagher Hard Vauxhall 54.776s +2.305s 25. Will Bratt Austin Audi - 26. Aiden Moffat Finesse Chevrolet - * S2000