Knockhill BTCC: Rob Austin grabs pole, Colin Turkington second

Audi racer Rob Austin scored a shock pole position for the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Knockhill this weekend

Knockhill BTCC: Rob Austin grabs pole, Colin Turkington second

The Rob Austin Racing A4 man grabbed top spot with 12 minutes to go with a lap time of 52.471s and was able to fend off a late attack from the WSR BMW of Colin Turkington, who made it an all rear-wheel-drive front row. Turkington was just 0.047s adrift.

"I went all out into the chicane," said Austin. "When the car came out the other side and it was still on its wheels, that was an awesome feeling.

"The car is good, what can I say? I am thrilled."

Behind Turkington's BMW, Andrew Jordan scorched to third place in his Eurotech Honda.

The Independents' Trophy leader faces a six-place relegation on the grid however, after a penalty during the previous round at Snetterton at the start of August.

That promotes the works Honda of champion Gordon Shedden to third spot, the circuit's commercial director just 0.1s away from pole position.

Jason Plato took his MG to fourth place ahead of Shedden's team-mate Matt Neal, who is carrying the full 45kg of success ballast because he is the championship leader.

The dramatic session was halted when Warren Scott crashed his Team BMR Volkswagen at McIntyre's corner. He returned to the pits in his damaged car, but the tyre wall needed repairs.

Later on in the 30-minute period, returnee Paul O'Neill slid into the back of his Team Hard team-mate, newcomer Kieran Gallagher, under braking for the hairpin. O'Neill was forced to pull out of the session with damage.

The last time an Audi qualified on pole position for a BTCC round was also at Knockhill, when Frank Biela set the fastest time back in 1997.

Pos  Driver            Team/Car           Time         Gap
 1.  Rob Austin        Austin Audi        52.471s
 2.  Colin Turkington  WSR BMW            52.518s  +0.047s
 3.  Gordon Shedden    Honda              52.581s  +0.110s
 4.  Jason Plato       MG                 52.650s  +0.179s
 5.  Matt Neal         Honda              52.652s  +0.181s
 6.  Adam Morgan       Ciceley Toyota     52.675s  +0.204s
 7.  Frank Wrathall    Dynojet Toyota     52.847s  +0.376s
 8.  Sam Tordoff       MG                 52.853s  +0.382s
 9.  Andrew Jordan     Eurotech Honda     52.563s  +0.092s
10.  Daniel Welch      Welch Proton       52.885s  +0.414s
11.  Aron Smith        Motorbase Ford     52.923s  +0.452s
12.  Rob Collard       WSR BMW            52.934s  +0.463s
13.  Tom Onslow-Cole   Hard Volkswagen    52.949s  +0.478s
14.  Dave Newsham      Speedworks Toyota  52.958s  +0.487s
15.  Nick Foster       WSR BMW            52.961s  +0.490s
16.  Mat Jackson       Motorbase Ford     53.031s  +0.560s
17.  Mike Bushell      IP Tech Chevrolet  53.179s  +0.708s
18.  Paul O'Neill      Hard Vauxhall      53.262s  +0.791s
19.  Ollie Jackson     Speedworks Toyota  53.304s  +0.833s
20.  Warren Scott      BMR Volkswagen     53.768s  +1.297s
21.  Liam Griffin      Motorbase Ford     54.049s  +1.578s*
22.  Lea Wood          Wood Vauxhall      54.134s  +1.663s*
23.  David Nye         Welch Ford         54.158s  +1.687s*
24.  Kieran Gallagher  Hard Vauxhall      54.776s  +2.305s
25.  Will Bratt        Austin Audi        -
26.  Aiden Moffat      Finesse Chevrolet  -

* S2000     
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Knockhill BTCC: Gordon Shedden puts Honda on top in practice
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