Photo: PSP Images

Mikey Doble ends NAPA pole run at Silverstone

Mikey Doble became the first driver outside the NAPA Racing UK line-up to secure pole position in the 2023 BTCC season with a stunning performance in qualifying at Silverstone.

The Power Maxed Racing driver was able to make the most of the pace shown by the Power Maxed Racing Astra to top the times in the second part of qualifying, with Silverstone hosting the final top ten shootout of the campaign.

Doble had posted the fifth quickest time in Q1, which was headed by the BMW of Jake Hill, and then put in a storming lap to edge ahead of the BMW of Colin Turkington on the times.

As the clock ticked down, others were able to get close to the top but Doble’s time would prove to be too good as he snared top stop ahead of Turkington by just 0.012s, with Tom Ingram only 0.018s further back in third place.

Jake Hill emerged with the fourth-best time ahead of Ash Sutton, with the championship leader being the final driver within a tenth of a second of pole and best of the Motorbase-run Fords. Sutton had earlier made it through Q1 by the skin of his teeth with the tenth best time, and his efforts to try and extract more from the car were seen by him getting sideways through Brooklands.

Tom Chilton rounded out the top six in the second of the EXCELR8 Hyundais, with Dan Cammish and Aron Taylor-Smith close behind. Rory Butcher and Sam Osborne then rounded out the top ten with the latter unable to get a quick lap in during the second part of the session.

Q1 had seen a number of fancied runners drop out early, with Andrew Watson unable to replicate his practice performance in twelfth place, and Ronan Pearson in 14th having been at the sharp end across the earlier sessions – although the pair only missed out by a tenth of a second.

Josh Cook – who can wrap up the Independents’ title this weekend – was 15th, rueing a lack of pace in his Honda.