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Qualifying report
BTCC Snetterton (300 Circuit)

BTCC Snetterton: Hill takes pole from Sutton

Jake Hill came out on top of a thrilling battle with Ash Sutton for pole position in a fast-drying British Touring Car Championship qualifying session at Snetterton.

Jake Hill, MB Motorsport

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Hill, driving his West Surrey Racing BMW 330e M Sport, ended up on opposite sides of the Norfolk circuit to reigning champion Sutton’s Alliance Racing-run NAPA Racing Ford Focus ST.
Five of the six drivers to make it into the pole shootout opted for slick Goodyear tyres when the sun suddenly broke out, and Hill and Sutton continually traded fastest times.
But due to the ritual among front-wheel-drive teams of tyre-crossing in the pits after their out-laps, Sutton caught the chequered flag on his final flying lap while Hill had sneaked onto an extra tour.
Sutton, as the championship leader, had access to just one second per lap of hybrid boost, and it looked as though the habitual BTCC miracle worker might have done it again.
Sure enough, the Laser Tools BMW – on seven seconds of hybrid – was down on Sutton’s provisional pole lap in the first sector, but obliterated the Ford’s second and third sectors to nail pole position by the huge margin of 0.805 seconds.
Following Hill on track was the sister WSR BMW of Adam Morgan, who had only just squeaked through Q2 at the last gasp after an off onto the grass at Riches, and the red-headed Lancastrian managed to leap to third.
That was enough to relegate the second Alliance Ford of Dan Cammish to fourth, while Bobby Thompson claimed fifth in his WSR BMW.
Bobby Thompson, Team BMW

Bobby Thompson, Team BMW

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Thompson, restricted to 9s of hybrid on his season debut, was the only driver to go out on wet-weather tyres, but quickly realised the error of his ways.
He pitted at the end of his out-lap for slicks, but missed out on the track time on slicks and was effectively the best part of two laps behind team-mates Hill and Morgan in bringing in his rubber.
The ‘Quick Six’ was rounded out by the Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Corolla GR Sport of Josh Cook, who was on the provisional front row heading into his final lap but had an off onto the grass at the esses.
“The lap before, I was told I was fighting Josh,” said Hill of his pole.
“I thought, ‘You know what? Let’s just throw the world at it and see what happens.’ I was either going to shunt and be P6, or be on pole.
“I’m so happy – what a perfect way to bounce back from Brands.”
WSR’s lead title contender Colin Turkington fell at the Q2 hurdle in ninth place, on 3s of hybrid, behind the Speedworks Toyotas of Andrew Watson and Rob Huff.
Dan Rowbottom (Alliance Ford) completed the top 10, while Chris Smiley with his Restart Racing Cupra and Ronan Pearson was the others to make it to Q2.
Pearson was the only representative of the Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N squadron to make it out of Q1, with Tom Ingram – on 5s of hybrid – pipped by his young Scottish team-mate to the tune of just 0.019s. The 2022 champion will therefore start the opening race from 13th on the grid.

BTCC Snetterton Qualifying result

   
1
 - 
3
   
Cla Driver # Car Laps Time Interval km/h
1 United Kingdom J. Hill Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport 24 BMW 330e M Sport 5

2'00.876

  88.422
2 United Kingdom A. Sutton NAPA Racing UK 1 Ford Focus ST 4

+0.805

2'01.681

0.805 87.837
3 United Kingdom A. Morgan Team BMW 33 BMW 330e M Sport 5

+0.991

2'01.867

0.186 87.702
4 United Kingdom D. Cammish NAPA Racing UK 27 Ford Focus ST 4

+1.547

2'02.423

0.556 87.304
5
B. Thompson Zeus Cloud Racing with WSR
19 BMW 330e M Sport 4

+1.684

2'02.560

0.137 87.207
6 United Kingdom J. Cook LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ 66 Toyota Corolla GR Sport 4

+2.553

2'03.429

0.869 86.593

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