Turner surprised by Croft pole

Darren Turner said he surprised even himself with his history-making British Touring Car Championship pole position at Croft

Turner surprised by Croft pole

The 34-year-old SEAT driver put a diesel-powered car at the front of the grid for the first time in the series' 50-year history, although he admitted that pole had not been in his thoughts after an opening practice session in which he was only ninth quickest.

"I think as a team, we're quite surprised about our pace here," Turner told autosport.com. "If you looked at the calendar and tried to tick off all the tracks we'd be good at, Croft wasn't one of them.

"We started the first practice with quite a bad car. Both me and Jason (Plato) were trying things from Thruxton, and it didn't work. The guys put us back on a more traditional set-up, a safe set-up, for practice two, and it worked much better. It was still a surprise to see us on pole though."

Turner's pole position - the third of his career and his first since Knockhill last season - came in spite of a trip through the gravel at the right-handed Clervaux turn.

The off bashed his front splitter and meant he ended his session in the pits. Turner also failed a ride height test, but was allowed to keep his times because it was clear that the failure was as a result of the damage rather than any foul play on the team's part.

"The lap I did when I went through the gravel was still fast enough for pole at that time, and then we improved by three tenths to what got me pole when we put new tyres on the front on the second run," Turner added.

"Then we got pulled up on the weighbridge. The splitter has a little bulge and there's a stone in there, so we didn't get punished. Then there wasn't enough time to change the splitter before the end of the session - we only had 14 minutes left. So we just sat in the pits.

"I'm just really pleased because we tried something a bit adventurous with the tyres and it worked. I don't think we can use that set-up in the races, but the forecast is rain, so you never know what will happen."

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Turner takes first BTCC diesel pole

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