Brands Hatch BTCC: Rowbottom takes maiden pole position

The Team Dynamics Honda squad took a 1-2 in British Touring Car Championship qualifying at Brands Hatch, with Dan Rowbottom grabbing pole position and team-mate Gordon Shedden second.

Brands Hatch BTCC: Rowbottom takes maiden pole position

Rowbottom, in just his second BTCC season, moved to the top of the times with six minutes remaining, and a couple of minutes later the sister Civic Type R of three-time champion Gordon Shedden joined him on the front row, just 0.005 seconds adrift.

While Rowbottom is running without success ballast, the performance looks extremely impressive in light of established star Shedden carrying just 9kg into Brands.

“It doesn’t seem real; the team have done a great job and we’ve worked through the day,” said the modest Rowbottom.

“The lap felt really messy, but sometimes they do, right? I think it was more luck than judgement – we managed to do the right things at the right time.”

Jake Hill sat at the top of the leaderboard until the Hondas moved to the fore, with his Motorbase-run MB Motorsport Ford Focus vastly improved from free practice.

Along with all the Fords, Hill, who has 39kg of success ballast, was struggling through Clearways – the most important corner on the Indy circuit – but credited his engineer Craig Pawley with “sort of reinventing the wheel” in time for qualifying.

The late form of the Hondas also knocked Tom Oliphant, carrying no ballast on his West Surrey Racing-run BMW 330i M Sport, off the front row.

The newly engaged Cheshire racer still led the BMW charge, with four-time champion Colin Turkington struggling to 14th on the grid with 57kg of weight on board his car.

Colin Turkington, Team BMW BMW 330i M Sport

Colin Turkington, Team BMW BMW 330i M Sport

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Aiden Moffat put in a strong qualifying performance to plant his Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50 in fifth place, while team-mate and reigning champion Ash Sutton emerged in seventh place with the full 75kg ballast on board, justifying his realism after topping free practice.

In between them in sixth place was the Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N of Tom Ingram, going nicely with 66kg of weight. Ingram survived a gravelly moment at Paddock Hill Bend but had already set his best time at this point.

Chris Smiley made it two Excelr8 Hyundais in the top eight, while Josh Cook ended up ninth, with 48kg of ballast aboard his BTC Racing Honda.

Completing the top 10 is Stephen Jelley in his WSR BMW, which is carrying 27kg of ballast.

BTCC Brands Hatch Indy - Qualifying results:

 
 Pos  Driver   Car / Engine   Time   Gap 
Daniel Rowbottom Honda 48.074  
Gordon Shedden Honda 48.079 0.005
Jake Hill Ford 48.179 0.105
Tom Oliphant BMW 48.184 0.110
Aiden Moffat Infiniti 48.318 0.244
Tom Ingram Hyundai 48.332 0.258
Ash Sutton Infiniti 48.370 0.296
Chris Smiley Hyundai 48.372 0.298
Josh Cook Honda 48.407 0.333
10  Stephen Jelley BMW 48.428 0.354
11  Jack Goff Cupra 48.428 0.354
12  Daniel Lloyd Vauxhall 48.431 0.357
13  Senna Proctor Honda 48.433 0.359
14  Colin Turkington BMW 48.457 0.383
15  Sam Osborne Ford 48.493 0.419
16  Rory Butcher Toyota 48.506 0.432
17  Jason Plato Vauxhall 48.522 0.448
18  Carl Boardley Infiniti 48.580 0.506
19  Ollie Jackson Ford 48.617 0.543
20  Árón T.-Smith Cupra 48.677 0.603
21  Adam Morgan BMW 48.680 0.606
22  Glynn Geddie Cupra 48.727 0.653
23  Jade Edwards Honda 48.756 0.682
24  Tom Chilton BMW 48.885 0.811
25  Rick Parfitt Hyundai 48.903 0.829
26  Sam Smelt Toyota 48.909 0.835
27  Jack Butel Hyundai 48.982 0.908
28  Andy Neate Ford 48.984 0.910
29  Nicolas Hamilton Cupra 49.325 1.251
shares
comments

Related video

Brands Hatch BTCC: Sutton leads free practice ahead of Rowbottom
Previous article

Brands Hatch BTCC: Sutton leads free practice ahead of Rowbottom

Next article

Turkington “in right place” despite midfield start at Brands Hatch

Turkington “in right place” despite midfield start at Brands Hatch
How the BTCC's new hybrid era aced its first test Plus

How the BTCC's new hybrid era aced its first test

Expectations were high for the start of the British Touring Car Championship’s hybrid power era, and despite nerves and problems to solve prior to its debut the new rules gained widespread approval. Here’s how the first test at Donington Park was passed and the thorough examinations that are to follow

BTCC
Apr 28, 2022
The Ford BTCC superteam combining two reigning TOCA champions Plus

The Ford BTCC superteam combining two reigning TOCA champions

Reigning BTCC champion Ash Sutton and Porsche Carrera Cup GB victor Dan Cammish form a potent line-up at the Motorbase-run NAPA Racing team as the series adopts hybrid power. With Sutton bringing the key components of his title-winning Laser Tools Racing set-up, and Cammish eager to prove a point on his return, their dynamic is set to be one of the season's major talking points

BTCC
Apr 21, 2022
The stalwart tin-top boss still shaping careers more than 40 years on Plus

The stalwart tin-top boss still shaping careers more than 40 years on

Veteran team manager Marvin Humphries and former Tech-Speed team boss has worked not only with stars of the British Touring Car Championship, but legends including Gil de Ferran, Hans Stuck and Tom Sneva in a long and varied career that has spanned five decades across tin-tops, single-seaters and sportscars

BTCC
Feb 4, 2022
The grassroots rise that shaped an understated BTCC star Plus

The grassroots rise that shaped an understated BTCC star

Having started out in club-level competitions alongside his own university engineering studies, Josh Cook's journey to becoming an established frontrunner in the British Touring Car Championship is atypical. But it's these experiences that have moulded the 30-year-old into a humble star, respected throughout the paddock

BTCC
Jan 12, 2022
Ranking the top 10 BTCC drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 BTCC drivers of 2021

A refresh in equipment and some returning faces helped contribute to a supremely competitive 2021 British Touring Car Championship campaign. Ash Sutton was crowned a three-time champion, successfully defending his 2020 title, but faced stiff competition in the final year before the switch to hybrid. Autosport picks out the best performers

BTCC
Nov 17, 2021
Why the BTCC's ballast increase couldn't stop champion Sutton Plus

Why the BTCC's ballast increase couldn't stop champion Sutton

Ballast will be gone from the BTCC next year as hybrid power enters the scene, but for its final season the maximum was increased from 60kg to 75kg. Despite having to carry that nearly all season, Ash Sutton was always the favourite to pocket a third title - the 27-year-old getting his reward for a season of speed tempered by savvy to nail his opportunities

BTCC
Nov 12, 2021
The much-loved tin-top superstar bowing out at 59 Plus

The much-loved tin-top superstar bowing out at 59

OPINION: It's not often that a driver achieves widespread affection for their personality, as well as their on-track performances. One such individual is Gabriele Tarquini, who will soon bring the curtain down on a remarkable career that has yielded touring car titles on the European and global stage - and, famously, in Britain too

BTCC
Nov 11, 2021
The making of the BTCC's newest superstar Plus

The making of the BTCC's newest superstar

Ash Sutton is on the verge of being crowned a three-time British Touring Car Champion; he seems to have it all. But life hasn't always been straightforward for this superstar of touring cars, as Marcus Simmons has been finding out

BTCC
Oct 21, 2021