BTCC Brands Hatch: Maiden pole for Smith as title rivals struggle

Brett Smith claimed his first British Touring Car Championship pole position at Brands Hatch, as title favourites Colin Turkington and Tom Ingram struggled in qualifying for the series finale

BTCC Brands Hatch: Maiden pole for Smith as title rivals struggle

Eurotech Honda Civic driver Smith pipped the factory-backed and newer-shape Team Dynamics Civic Type R of early pacesetter Dan Cammish with six minutes to go.

Smith, who is 24th in the points and therefore had no success ballast aboard his car, said he had been surprised with the result.

"I thought Brands Hatch was a bogey track for me," said the 26-year-old.

"I did my quick lap and then went for a second run and had a massive slide at Graham Hill Bend and I thought I had ruined it.

"Then the team got on the radio and told me it was P1. I couldn't believe it."

Cammish, for his part, felt he had been denied a shot at setting an even faster time by troublesome traffic.

The Honda man was on his fastest lap when he happened across a queue of cars heading into Clearways.

Cammish will start ahead of his team-mate Matt Neal, who said he was pleased with the time and with his starting slot.

The top five on the grid will be completed by Jack Goff's Eurotech Honda Civic and Dan Lloyd's similar car, run by BTC Norlin. Senna Proctor will start sixth in the Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra.

Championship leader Colin Turkington will line up in 17th spot in his WSR BMW 125i M Sport, one place behind title outsider Tom Chilton's Motorbase Ford Focus.

Second in the points, Tom Ingram, will line up 19th in his Speedworks Toyota Avensis.

Turkington leads the standings by 34 points going in to tomorrow's three races from Ingram, with Chilton 64 points adrift with 67 to play for.

Turkington had 75kg aboard his rear-wheel-drive car and said he was satisfied with the performance to grab 17th if not the position.

"It is important that I am ahead of Ingram," he said.

"It gives me the upper hand early on in the weekend."

Ingram, who carried 66kg of weight into the session, thought that he had more to come.

He said: "We knew qualifying would be the hardest part of the weekend although I am not sure any of us with weight expected to be this far back.

"We have work to do to take some serious points out of Colin in race one, but we know what the BTCC finale weekend can bring. It is still all to play for."

The session was red-flagged in the dying moments when Rory Butcher's AmD Tuning.com MG slid into the gravel on the grand prix loop.

Qualifying result

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Brett Smith Eurotech Racing Honda 1m30.537s
2 Dan Cammish Team Dynamics Honda 0.043s
3 Matt Neal Team Dynamics Honda 0.188s
4 Jack Goff Eurotech Racing Honda 0.236s
5 Daniel Lloyd BTC Norlin Honda 0.238s
6 Senna Proctor Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall 0.310s
7 Sam Tordoff Motorbase Ford 0.349s
8 Chris Smiley BTC Norlin Honda 0.358s
9 Aiden Moffat Laser Tools Racing Mercedes 0.378s
10 Ash Sutton Team BMR Subaru 0.382s
11 Ricky Collard WSR BMW 0.441s
12 Andrew Jordan WSR BMW 0.462s
13 Jason Plato Team BMR Subaru 0.574s
14 Rob Austin HMS Racing Alfa Romeo 0.586s
15 Tom Chilton Motorbase Ford 0.588s
16 James Cole Motorbase Ford 0.603s
17 Colin Turkington WSR BMW 0.627s
18 Ollie Jackson AmD Tuning Audi 0.632s
19 Tom Ingram Speedworks Toyota 0.687s
20 Tom Oliphant Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes 0.765s
21 Mike Bushell Team Hard Volkswagen 0.771s
22 Adam Morgan Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes 0.812s
23 Josh Cook Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall 0.856s
24 Matt Simpson Simpson Racing Honda 0.927s
25 Rory Butcher AmD Tuning MG 1.165s
26 Stephen Jelley Team Parker Racing BMW 1.218s
27 Bobby Thompson Team Hard Volkswagen 1.270s
28 Sam Smelt AmD Tuning Audi 1.523s
29 Ethan Hammerton Team Hard Volkswagen 1.718s
30 Ollie Pidgley Team Hard Volkswagen 1.994s
31 Josh Caygill AmD Tuning MG 2.757s

shares
comments
Honda's Cammish tops practice ahead of Brands Hatch BTCC finale

Previous article

Honda's Cammish tops practice ahead of Brands Hatch BTCC finale

Next article

BTCC Brands Hatch: Maiden win for Cammish, Turkington extends lead

BTCC Brands Hatch: Maiden win for Cammish, Turkington extends lead
Load comments

About this article

Series BTCC
Drivers Jeff Smith , Brett Smith
Teams BTC Racing
Author Matt James
The rollercoaster ride of West Surrey Racing's 40 years Plus

The rollercoaster ride of West Surrey Racing's 40 years

It’s four decades since one of UK motorsport’s most successful teams made its debut at Silverstone in British Formula 3. Now it’s top dog in the BTCC, time to blow out some candles with boss Dick Bennetts

BTCC
Mar 12, 2021
Why the BTCC elite should fear Shedden's return Plus

Why the BTCC elite should fear Shedden's return

OPINION: The British Touring Car Championship Lord taketh away Dan Cammish, then giveth Gordon Shedden. That means substituting what would have been a future champion with an all-time series great with a point to prove on his return

BTCC
Mar 11, 2021
The tin-top veteran turned policeman hangs up his helmet Plus

The tin-top veteran turned policeman hangs up his helmet

Jeff Allam had a long and successful touring car career, and was a highly regarded works driver for Rover and Vauxhall. Then he spent his weekends policing his successors… Time to look back at a BTCC life spanning almost 45 years

BTCC
Mar 10, 2021
The BTCC Brexit that's thrived for a decade Plus

The BTCC Brexit that's thrived for a decade

It won't be long until the current BTCC rules become the longest-lasting the series has ever had. The NGTC regulations are due to celebrate their tenth birthday this year and while not totally perfect for everyone, have been a huge success

BTCC
Feb 24, 2021
The top 10 BTCC drivers of 2020 Plus

The top 10 BTCC drivers of 2020

The 2020 British Touring Car Championship will go down as a classic in which new winners graced the top step of the podium and an unloved chassis was resurrected into a champion. But who were the year's top performers?

BTCC
Dec 24, 2020
The Villeneuve-esque 'engineer's dream' who lit up BTCC 2020 Plus

The Villeneuve-esque 'engineer's dream' who lit up BTCC 2020

The Infiniti Q50 was completely redesigned, redeveloped and revamped by BMR and Laser Tools Racing for 2020. And the flamboyant brilliance of the driver behind the wheel was enough to snatch the title at the last gasp

BTCC
Dec 11, 2020
The BMW game-changer that monopolised the tin-top world Plus

The BMW game-changer that monopolised the tin-top world

The rival Ford RS500 was more spectacular and almost claimed its place as Autosport's greatest touring car. But the original BMW M3 E30 was too good and too important to be ignored, as its drivers explain

BTCC
Dec 1, 2020
Turkington meets Rouse: The BTCC's greatest in conversation Plus

Turkington meets Rouse: The BTCC's greatest in conversation

The two four-time British Touring Car champions discovered they had far more in common than they realised when Autosport brought them together to discuss all things tin-top for its 70th anniversary special earlier this year

BTCC
Nov 25, 2020