Rockingham BTCC: Jackson gives Motorbase first ever pole

Mat Jackson took a first ever pole for Motorbase Performance in a hugely entertaining BTCC qualifying session at Rockingham, setting a new lap record to head home Aron Smith and Gordon Shedden.

Rockingham BTCC: Jackson gives Motorbase first ever pole

Jackson's lap of 1.22.087 in the Ford Focus ST was enough to pip Team BMR's Smith by just 0.050s, with Honda's Shedden staging a late dash after a red flag stoppage to take third, 0.213 off the pace.

Triple Eight Racing's Jack Goff and Speedworks Motorsport's Tom Ingram had both held top spot at various stages of the session, ending up in career-best fourth and fifth places ahead of championship leader Jason Plato in sixth.

Shedden's teammate Neal was seventh ahead of Aiden Moffat, another driver enjoying a career-best qualifying performance, with Colin Turkington recovering to ninth after being marooned down in 15th and spinning at Pif Paf.

Goff's teammate Andrew Jordan rounded out the top 10, with Sam Tordoff the best of the West Surrey Racing cars in 11th after a disappointing session for Dick Bennetts' team.

The first 19 cars were covered by an incredible 0.755s, down to Ciceley Racing's Adam Morgan in an uncharacteristically bad grid position.

The session was red-flagged with three minutes to go with Infiniti's Derek Palmer went off into the gravel at Tarzan, with the clock being reset to five minutes when the session restarted.

Jackson had lost pole in similar circumstances at Knockhill, but his bad luck didn't repeat itself in Northamptonshire as Shedden was the only major mover.

There were also spins for Handy Motorsport's Robb Holland and AmD Tuning's Nicolas Hamilton, while the second AmD car of Mike Bushell qualified 23rd after earlier losing all his times for failing a ride height check.

Ian Gallagher/TouringCarTimes

 Pos  Driver   Car / Engine   Time   Gap
Mat Jackson Ford 1'22.087  
Árón Smith Volkswagen 1'22.137 0.050
Gordon Shedden Honda 1'22.300 0.213
Jack Goff MG 1'22.303 0.216
Tom Ingram Toyota 1'22.395 0.308
Jason Plato Volkswagen 1'22.426 0.339
Matt Neal Honda 1'22.448 0.361
Aiden Moffat Mercedes 1'22.473 0.386
Colin Turkington Volkswagen 1'22.491 0.404
10  Andrew Jordan MG 1'22.506 0.419
11  Sam Tordoff BMW 1'22.541 0.454
12  Josh Cook Chevrolet 1'22.667 0.580
13  Rob Austin Audi 1'22.723 0.636
14  James Cole Ford 1'22.731 0.644
15  Warren Scott Volkswagen 1'22.744 0.657
16  Dave Newsham Chevrolet 1'22.779 0.692
17  Rob Collard BMW 1'22.784 0.697
18  Hunter Abbott Audi 1'22.796 0.709
19  Adam Morgan Mercedes 1'22.842 0.755
20  Nick Foster BMW 1'23.187 1.100
21  Martin Depper Honda 1'23.224 1.137
22  Jeff Smith Honda 1'23.531 1.444
23  Mike Bushell Ford 1'23.652 1.565
24  Robb Holland Toyota 1'24.354 2.267
25  Nicolas Hamilton Audi 1'24.403 2.316
26  Alex Martin Ford 1'24.549 2.462
27  Derek Palmer Jr. Infiniti 1'24.565 2.478
28  Kieran Gallagher Toyota 1'24.877 2.790
29  Stewart Lines Toyota 1'24.882 2.795
30  Daniel Welch Proton 1'25.368 3.281
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