Croft BTCC: Moffat sweeps to first pole, denying Hill

Aiden Moffat grabbed the first British Touring Car Championship pole position of his career at the culmination of a dramatic qualifying session at Croft.

Croft BTCC: Moffat sweeps to first pole, denying Hill

The Scot put all his sectors together with just over two minutes remaining to dislodge four-time champion Colin Turkington, who had looked set to extend his remarkable record at the North Yorkshire circuit.

Moffat, at the wheel of a Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50, had never previously qualified higher than second in a BTCC career dating back eight years, but did enough to edge out Jake Hill by 0.040 seconds as Turkington slipped to third.

“It’s taken some waiting, hasn’t it?” said Moffat.

“It’s a special moment. We’ve had good pace this season and I can’t thank everyone enough, including Ash [Sutton, team-mate] – he’s given me a lot of help.

“It’s easy to chase the car a lot, but today I felt confident with the car they gave me, working on myself, not overdriving. I should have tried that six years ago!”

Hill, his Motorbase-run MB Motorsport Ford Focus laden with 48kg of success ballast, was “gutted” to miss out yet again on his own maiden BTCC pole, but “over the moon” to qualify on the front row with the weight.

Turkington too was happy, his West Surrey Racing-run BMW 330i M Sport on 39kg of ballast.

The Northern Irishman didn’t run new tyres in free practice, hence his lowly standing there, but bounced forward in qualifying. Minor changes before his final run brought only a 0.007s improvement, meaning he dropped from pole to third.

Like Hill, Turkington and 10th-placed Jason Plato's Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra, free practice pacesetter Senna Proctor was another to set a theoretical best better than Moffat’s.

Proctor qualified fourth in BTC Honda

Proctor qualified fourth in BTC Honda

Photo by: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Proctor, at the wheel of a BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R, languished in 20th place at the second of two red flags, but he burst to the fore in the final 10 minutes of running to bag a place on the second row in fourth place.

Adam Morgan, with 33kg of ballast on his Ciceley Motorsport BMW, was another to move from free practice anonymity into the qualifying limelight by taking fifth place, and will share the third row with the second of the WSR BMWs, driven by Tom Oliphant.

The second BTC Honda of Josh Cook has looked good all day with 57kg of ballast, and he posted the seventh fastest time, within 0.06s of third-placed Turkington.

Lining up alongside Cook will be championship leader Sutton, with the maximum 75kg weight on his LTR Infiniti.

Dan Rowbottom headed to the pits mid-session with smoke issuing from the rear of his Team Dynamics Honda. He emerged with the smoke still there, but improved to ninth, on 21kg of ballast.

With the exception of Moffat, it was a disastrous qualifying session for the BTCC's Scottish contingent. Gordon Shedden suffered a spin on his way to 17th in his Dynamics Honda, while Rory Butcher, who looked a surefire pole contender, pulled off at the exit of Sunny early on with engine failure on his Speedworks Motorsport-run Toyota Corolla.

Butcher's problem caused the first red flag and means he will start from the back of the grid.

The other red flag was caused when Nic Hamilton shunted his Team Hard Cupra on the approach to Sunny.

Title contender Tom Ingram struggled with heavy ballast (66kg) even more than usual in his Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N, and will line up 21st.

Croft BTCC Qualifying Results

Cla Driver Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Aiden Moffat 1'22.037  
2 United Kingdom Jake Hill 1'22.077 0.040
3 United Kingdom Colin Turkington 1'22.159 0.122
4 United Kingdom Senna Proctor 1'22.169 0.132
5 United Kingdom Adam Morgan 1'22.186 0.149
6 United Kingdom Tom Oliphant 1'22.190 0.153
7 United Kingdom Josh Cook 1'22.214 0.177
8 United Kingdom Ashley Sutton 1'22.297 0.260
9 United Kingdom Daniel Rowbottom 1'22.330 0.293
10 United Kingdom Jason Plato 1'22.413 0.376
11 United Kingdom Ollie Jackson 1'22.438 0.401
12 United Kingdom Stephen Jelley 1'22.502 0.465
13 United Kingdom Chris Smiley 1'22.543 0.506
14 United Kingdom Daniel Lloyd 1'22.545 0.508
15 United Kingdom Tom Chilton 1'22.573 0.536
16 United Kingdom Jack Goff 1'22.603 0.566
17 United Kingdom Gordon Shedden 1'22.629 0.592
18 United Kingdom Sam Smelt 1'22.655 0.618
19 United Kingdom Sam Osborne 1'22.673 0.636
20 United Kingdom Carl Boardley 1'22.734 0.697
21 United Kingdom Tom Ingram 1'22.846 0.809
22 Ireland Aron Taylor-Smith 1'22.994 0.957
23 Jade Edwards 1'23.219 1.182
24 United Kingdom Jack Mitchell 1'23.276 1.239
25 Jersey Jack Butel 1'23.319 1.282
26 Andy Neate 1'23.950 1.913
27 Nick Halstead 1'24.993 2.956
28 Nicolas Hamilton 1'27.260 5.223
29 United Kingdom Rory Butcher    
shares
comments

Related video

Croft BTCC: Proctor shades Shedden to top practice times

Previous article

Croft BTCC: Proctor shades Shedden to top practice times

Next article

Croft BTCC: Moffat soaks up Hill pressure to win Race 1

Croft BTCC: Moffat soaks up Hill pressure to win Race 1
Load comments
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
The green light shining for the BTCC's hybrid future Plus

The green light shining for the BTCC's hybrid future

The Cosworth Electronics-developed BTCC hybrid system made its public debut in the most recent round at Silverstone. It's simple, but could significantly change the series' technical challenges for both the drivers and the teams

BTCC
Oct 9, 2021
The restored BSCC battler back in its family's hands after 50 years Plus

The restored BSCC battler back in its family's hands after 50 years

The Imps of George Bevan became famous in British Saloon Car Championship competition during the early 1970s. Thanks to the efforts of a small band of enthusiasts, including Bevan's grandson Jonathan, one of the ex-Bill McGovern title winners has recently returned to the race track

Historics
Sep 30, 2021
The increasingly varied CV behind a new BTCC title challenger Plus

The increasingly varied CV behind a new BTCC title challenger

A driver with limited funds behind him, it’s been a tough road to the top of the British Touring Car Championship for Jake Hill. Now he’s a title contender, accomplished historic racer and in-demand coach. It’s a great life for this self-confessed motorsport junkie

BTCC
Aug 26, 2021
The outright tin-top wins achieved by a forgotten tin-top great Plus

The outright tin-top wins achieved by a forgotten tin-top great

Already established as a formidable force in the British Saloon Car Championship, the Triumph Dolomite became a legend in 1977 when Tony Dron's Broadspeed machine frequently embarrassed the mighty Capris

BTCC
May 18, 2021
Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC Plus

Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC

It’s been a busy silly season in the BTCC since the chequered flag fell to end the 2020 campaign last November. While last year’s top two have stayed put, there’s plenty of talking points elsewhere, which should result in another fascinating year of tin-top action

BTCC
May 7, 2021
The giantkilling 'dad and lad' operation taking on the BTCC's best Plus

The giantkilling 'dad and lad' operation taking on the BTCC's best

The Lancashire squad of Ciceley Motorsport has been a BTCC race winner for several years with Adam Morgan and Mercedes. But the switch to WSR-built BMWs and addition of Tom Chilton as a true barometer for Morgan should see the team step up into title contention

BTCC
May 6, 2021
How a returning champion is feeling at home again in the BTCC Plus

How a returning champion is feeling at home again in the BTCC

After topping the times at the end of British Touring Car Championship pre-season testing, it feels like Gordon Shedden has never been away. But after plenty of changes behind the scenes, the three-time champion is bedding himself in to pick up where he left off

BTCC
May 5, 2021