Photo: PSP Images

Ash Sutton heads Subaru 1-2 in Croft qualifying

Ash Sutton followed up his pace-setting performance in second practice to secure a first pole of the BTCC season at Croft.

The defending champion snared pole as the North Yorkshire circuit for the second season in a succession in a session where rear-wheel drive cars locked out the top three places on the grid.

Sutton hit the front in the early stages of the session and would then better his time on his second run to move clear of the field behind.

Despite team-mate Jason Plato closing to within a tenth of a second, Sutton would prove to be unbeatable and could even make a trip through the gravel at turn one in the closing moments without his time being bettered.

Plato would end up a tenth of a second behind in second place with a performance that was by far his best result of the season, with Andrew Jordan falling just shy of a front row start in the first of the WSR-run BMWs.

Despite his run of misfortune on race day, Sam Tordoff maintained his impressive qualifying record this season with the best time amongst the front-wheel runners.

The Motorbase man was just two-tenths of a second off the pace in fourth spot, with Tom Ingram also impressing in his Toyota with the fifth best time.

Championship leader Colin Turkington made light of the ballast on his BMW to post the sixth best time with team-mate Rob Collard and Team Parker’s Stephen Jelley following close behind, whilst the top ten was completed by Josh Cook and Rob Austin.

Whilst the session passed without major drama, Matt Neal will have work to do on race day after his Honda stopped on circuit whilst a tough session for Jack Goff saw him qualify down in 26th spot.

Aiden Moffat also suffered a late spin into the tyres at Sunny In in the closing stages as he qualified outside the top 20.