Reigning BTCC Champion Colin Turkington, started the 2020 BTCC season in style, with pole and a new Qualifying record at the Donington Circuit.
In a session overcast by damp conditions, the BTCC returned and returned with a classic Qualifying session.
Despite the conditions, all the cars left the pitlane on the slick tyres.
Conditions aside, it didn’t take long for the Qualifying record to be broken.
The record set by Jason Plato in 2014, was broken by Turkington after just 7 minutes of the session.
But this was only beginning, as multiple drivers broke the track record as time went on.
Motorbase’s Rory Butcher broke it before taking an off track excursion down through the Craner curves.
Tom Ingram then went to the top for the Toyota Gazoo Racing Team UK during the middle part of Qualifying.
Into the second half of the session, Turkington and Ash Sutton in the Infiniti traded fastest times, with Sutton pushing Turkington into the 1:08’s for the first time.
With 10 minutes to go, the red flag was thrown to replace a tyre barrier at the final chicane.
When the session went green again, few drivers improved on their times, and no one could touch Turkington at the top.
With a 1:08.998, the defending champion beat Dan Cammish to pole by just 0.087.
Despite his struggle with track limits, Sutton ended in 3rd, just 0.097 off pole, and impressive debut for the new Infiniti car.
The 2 Tom’s Ingram and Oliphant qualified 4th and 5th, with Butcher in 6th.
Mark Blundell Motorsport had a strong showing through Jake Hill in 7th place, as well as P12 for Sam Osbourne.
Josh Cook took 8th ahead of Matt Neal and Adam Morgan rounding out the top 10.
Senna Proctor and Chris Smiley gave the new Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai a decent showing in 11th and 14th respectively.
BTCC rookies Ollie Brown and Jack Butel performed admirably in 23rd and 24th respectively.
Jack Goff will start in 25th after restricted track time in Qualifying due to a heavy crash in FP2.
Nic Hamilton will line up in last place, with no time set after his bonnet came loose.
With the top 16 covered by just 8 tenths of a second, we’re set for an enthralling start to the 2020 BTCC season in one of the most competitive series on the planet.