Photo: TCR UK

Jac Constable sneaks pole in tight Croft qualifying

Rob Boston Racing’s Jac Constable grabbed pole position for the opening race at Croft, topping an ultra-tight qualifying session in which the top four cars were split by less than a tenth.

The Audi RS 3 LMS driver was near the top of the standings all session and hit the front in the closing minutes to edge out CBM with Hart GT’s Carl Boardley by just 0.026s.

Bradley Kent was third quickest, a mere three-hundredths of a second in arrears, while Callum Newsham completed the quartet, nine hundredths off pole.

Amid overcast skies, the session was dry throughout, with Bond it with MPHR’s Brad Hutchison setting the first fully representative laptime, heading early pacesetter and points leader Bruce Winfield by just under a tenth.

Alex Ley then moved to the top before a flurry of activity and improvements before the halfway marker. Newsham leaped to the head of the field ahead of Joe Marshall – who ended up sixth quickest – Constable and Boardley.

The latter was the first of the frontrunners to head out for the final attempts with 10 minutes of the session left to run and got to within 0.008s of Bradley Kent who went quickest in his Essex and Kent Hyundai.

Boardley then found valuable time on his second lap, going fastest by three-hundredths from Kent, but both were usurped by Constable’s best effort of 1:22.408.

Newsham’s final flyer was a good one but not enough to move the top three cars and had to settle for fourth after the flag.

Defending champion Smiley was fifth, a comparatively large two tenths of a second adrift, with Marshall sixth, seven hundredths behind.

The Cupra León Competición of Jenson Brickley was among the best of the rest and was seventh quickest, beating Adam Shepherd – racing after a last-minute deal ensured he could contest the event having previously announced he would be sidelined – and Ley, while Winfield appeared to struggle en route to 10th.

Race 1 at Croft is scheduled to take place tomorrow at 12:05 BST.