Knockhill BTCC: Andy Priaulx wins frantic pole fight for WSR BMW

Andy Priaulx grabbed a last-gasp pole position at Knockhill in a frenetic British Touring Car Championship qualifying session

Knockhill BTCC: Andy Priaulx wins frantic pole fight for WSR BMW

The three-time world champion's first ever BTCC pole came at the Scottish track in 2002, and he pulled a record-breaking 51.671-second lap out of the bag with less than a minute remaining to top qualifying for the second time in his comeback season.

Priaulx had run second to Motorbase driver Mat Jackson for the majority of the session, which was punctuated by two red-flag periods.

Jackson held provisional pole from Priaulx and Matt Neal when the red flags were required after Jeff Smith spun at Scotsman and Dan Welch's suspension failed at Duffus Dip moments apart from each other.

When the session resumed Jackson immediately improved to a 51.659s, but lost the time for exceeding track limits.

Priaulx set a 51.873s to chisel Jackson's advantage to just three-hundredths of a second, while a flurry of improvements included Sam Tordoff moving into the pole fight.

Home favourite and practice pacesetter Gordon Shedden looked set to rise from fifth to do the same as he set two good sector times - but his lap was ruined by Honda team-mate Matt Neal spinning off through Duffus Dip and winding up in the gravel at Leslie's.

That brought out the second red flag, setting up a four-minute shootout for pole.

Shedden was first to improve, going third on a 51.924s before Tordoff went quickest on a 51.823s.

Priaulx left it even later though to eclipse his WSR team-mate, while Rob Collard made it three 125i M Sports in the top four by joining Jackson on the second row.

Shedden was shuffled back to fifth, and will be joined on row three by Rob Austin, who has been much happier in his team's Audi A4 this weekend.

Neal, MG's Andrew Jordan, the lead Team BMR Volkswagen CC of Colin Turkington and Adam Morgan's Ciceley Mercedes completed the top 10.

Turkington's championship-leading team-mate Jason Plato had a miserable session, winding up 22nd - despite lapping only 0.771s off the pace with his 75kgs of ballast.

QUALIFYING TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Andy Priaulx WSR BMW 51.671s -
2 Sam Tordoff WSR BMW 51.823s 0.152s
3 Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 51.835s 0.164s
4 Rob Collard WSR BMW 51.919s 0.248s
5 Gordon Shedden Honda Honda 51.924s 0.253s
6 Rob Austin Rob Austin Racing Audi 51.979s 0.308s
7 Matt Neal Honda Honda 52.054s 0.383s
8 Andrew Jordan MG MG 52.061s 0.390s
9 Colin Turkington Team BMR Volkswagen 52.134s 0.463s
10 Adam Morgan Ciceley Racing Mercedes 52.135s 0.464s
11 Aiden Moffat Aiden Moffat Racing Mercedes 52.165s 0.494s
12 Tom Ingram Speedworks Motorsport Toyota 52.169s 0.498s
13 Jack Goff MG MG 52.206s 0.535s
14 Aron Taylor-Smith Team BMR Volkswagen 52.283s 0.612s
15 Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda 52.320s 0.649s
16 Mike Bushell AmD Ford 52.391s 0.720s
17 Warren Scott Team BMR Volkswagen 52.400s 0.729s
18 James Cole Motorbase Ford 52.401s 0.730s
19 Josh Cook Power Maxed Chevrolet 52.413s 0.742s
20 Martin Depper Eurotech Honda 52.430s 0.759s
21 Hunter Abbott Rob Austin Racing Audi 52.437s 0.766s
22 Jason Plato Team BMR Volkswagen 52.442s 0.771s
23 Dave Newsham Power Maxed Chevrolet 52.524s 0.853s
24 Derek Palmer Jr. Infiniti Infiniti 52.904s 1.233s
25 Robb Holland Handy Motorsport Toyota 53.359s 1.688s
26 Stewart Lines Houseman Racing Toyota 53.379s 1.708s
27 Alex Martin Team Parker Ford 53.669s 1.998s
28 Daniel Welch Welch Motorsport Proton 54.381s 2.710s
29 Kieran Gallagher Team Hard Toyota 54.513s 2.842s

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