Verizon Connect Racing’s Ashley Sutton secured pole position on his TCR UK début at Oulton Park with a supreme lap that was 0.567 seconds quicker than WestCoast Racing’s points leader Dan Lloyd.
Having topped Friday’s second test session and then Saturday morning’s Free Practice session, Sutton marked himself as the man to beat around the Oulton Park International circuit. The Honda Civic Type R driver went to the top of the times on his first full flying lap in the 30-minute qualifying session, posting a lap of 1:42.348. That time put Sutton at the top by a comfortable margin over the TCR UK series points leader Lloyd, who left it until late in the session to secure a front-row grid position for the first race of the day, setting his best time of 1:42.915 with just two minutes to go.
Pyro Motorsport’s Ollie Taylor (1:43.135) was third, just under eight tenths behind teammate Sutton, having been set for a Pyro Racing 1-2 until Lloyd’s Volkswagen separated the Hondas. Lloyd’s teammate Andreas Bäckman (1:43.254) was fourth fastest in his Golf GTI whilst DPE Motorsport’s Derek Palmer Jr secured a best qualifying result of the season in his Alfa Romeo Giulietta by going fifth (1:43.885).
Also taking a best qualifying result of the year was Stewart Lines in the Maximum Motorsport Cupra (1:44.367) in sixth, ahead of the third WestCoast Racing Volkswagen of Jessica Bäckman in seventh.
Swift secured the pole position for race two, which is set by the reversed second fastest times of each driver, with Sutton alongside him.
Sutton said: “Firstly, thanks to Verizon Connect Racing for having me here this weekend. Finlay Crocker has opted out of this round and it’s meant that we can jump in. It was my first time in a TCR car yesterday and since then it’s been really good. We wanted to try and get pole and make an impact for everyone that’s involved – all of the sponsors, Team Pyro and it’s good to give the boys something. The car is mega! It’s brilliant on a one lap when you need it in qualifying to deliver that ultimate lap and then come the race it seems to hold up well on the front tyres, so for me switching back from rear-wheel drive to front-wheel drive is going to be a learning curve on tyre management, but anything is a challenge and I like a challenge.”
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