Croft BTCC: Sutton awarded pole in crash-marred qualifying

Team BMR Subaru's Ash Sutton was handed pole position for the Croft round of the BTCC after qualifying was abandoned due to a mid-session pile-up.

Croft BTCC: Sutton awarded pole in crash-marred qualifying

Sutton had only done three flying laps in the nine minutes of the scheduled 30-minute session that were run, but his 1m33.182s lap was good enough for him to take pole by 0.561s from Colin Turkington’s WSR BMW.

Mat Jackson (Motorbase Performance Ford) and reigning champion Gordon Shedden (Team Dynamics Honda) will line up in third and fourth positions.

Josh Cook, who is returning to the Triple Eight MG team for this meeting, was fifth ahead of his teammate Aron Taylor-Smith, who was one of those involved in the accident and will not start on Sunday.

Jason Plato (Team BMR Subaru) and Matt Neal (Team Dynamics Honda) therefore move up to sixth and seventh, with the top 10 completed by the Team BMR Subarus of Josh Price and James Cole and Tom Chilton's Vauxhall.

The session was halted after a huge pile-up involving 12 cars at Barcroft corner. Luke Davenport (Motorbase Ford) and Jeff Smith (Eurotech Honda) had to be cut from their cars before being taken to hospital. Their injuries have been described as not life-threatening.

Taylor-Smith was also involved and was knocked out in the accident. He was taken to the circuit’s medical facilities to be checked over and has since been taken to hospital.

Smith had qualified 11th, but will not take part on Sunday's races, while Davenport failed to set a laptime and will also be a non-starter.

After the accident, Shedden examined the track alongside series director Alan Gow after the accident and the pair decided that the session should be abandoned.

“There is 100 metres of oil on the track and the rain on the circuit is expanding it all over the place,” said Shedden. “They are trying their best to clean it with a road sweeper, but that is just pushing the oil around.

“There could be another accident going through that corner with the track in the condition it is, so it is better to stop it.”

Matt James

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Croft BTCC qualifying halted after 12-car crash

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