Andy Priaulx marks BTCC return with pole position

Andy Priaulx will start the first race of the 2015 British Touring Car Championship from pole position.

The West Surrey Racing driver – whose last pole position in the series was also his last appearance back in 2002 – ended the qualifying session just six hundredths faster than lead Team BMR driver Aron Smith.

It was a positive session for Team BMR with new recruits Jason Plato and Colin Turkington lining up on the second row of the grid. They were separated by just one thousandth of a second continuing the close pace they showed at media day. It wasn’t just the team-mates who were close as the top twenty on the grid were separated by just over a second.

Rob Collard and Jack Goff will start tomorrow’s first race from the third row, ahead of Gordon Shedden, Sam Tordoff, Tom Ingram, and Andrew Jordan. Next up will be Matt Neal, Adam Morgan, Rob Austin, Dave Newsham, Aiden Moffat, and Hunter Abbott. Returning driver Jeff Smith will start alongside leading rookie Mike Bushell, who in turn is ahead of Martin Depper, Josh Cook, Alex Martin, Simon Belcher, Stewart Lines, Derek Palmer, Kieran Gallagher and Andy Wilmot.

Richard Hawken is missing from the action this weekend due to Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing running into technical problems with their second car. Palmer will be their sole representative in the opening weekend of running. Joining Hawken on the sidelines is Dan Welch who broke his foot on Wednesday while preparing the team truck.

Three races will take place tomorrow with the grid for race two decided by race one fastest laps. The grid for race one:

  1. Andy Priaulx – 48.411 – 32 laps
  2. Aron Smith – 48.480 – 28 laps
  3. Jason Plato – 48.534 – 25 laps
  4. Colin Turkington – 48.535 – 25 laps
  5. Rob Collard – 48.562 – 32 laps
  6. Jack Goff – 48.599 – 26 laps
  7. Gordon Shedden – 48.608 – 27 laps
  8. Sam Tordoff – 48.631 – 31 laps
  9. Tom Ingram – 48.643 – 23 laps
  10. Andrew Jordan – 48.656 – 27 laps
  11. Matt Neal – 48.694 – 29 laps
  12. Adam Morgan – 48.717 – 26 laps
  13. Rob Austin – 48.895 – 31 laps
  14. Dave Newsham – 48.911 – 27 laps
  15. Aiden Moffat – 48.931 – 28 laps
  16. Hunter Abbott – 48.964 – 31 laps
  17. Jeff Smith – 49.101 – 28 laps
  18. Mike Bushell – 49.367 – 28 laps
  19. Martin Depper – 49.492 – 15 laps
  20. Josh Cook – 49.517 – 18 laps
  21. Alex Martin – 49.575 – 29 laps
  22. Simon Belcher – 49.633 – 32 laps
  23. Stewart Lines – 50.596 – 29 laps
  24. Derek Palmer – 50.609 – 23 laps
  25. Kieran Gallagher – 50.762 – 25 laps
  26. Andy Wilmot – 52.665 – 14 laps
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