Turkington trailed Hill’s sister WSR-run BMW 330e M Sport following the first runs, and through the second 1 / 2 of the session improvements were few in number because the track temperature approached 40C.
Out came the WSR trio of Hill, Turkington and Stephen Jelley who have been already running 1-2-3 because of their final runs with a few momemts remaining.
Hill set a purple first sector, before Turkington went quicker still, but both then didn’t enhance their personal bests in the next sector.
In the ultimate part of the lap, Hill experienced a slide at Coram while passing a Team Hard Cupra and lost further time, while Turkington nailed another purple sector to eclipse Hill by 0.065s.
Four-time champion Turkington had led Jelley around on the initial runs, when Jelley set his best effort, and the favour was returned later in the session.
I surprised myself, said Turkington, who as championship leader was allowed no hybrid use. I wasnt entering qualifying thinking I had a go at pole.
Our free practice pace was decent, but everybody else [Hill and Tom Ingram] was five or six tenths up the street, although granted I didnt put fresh rubber on.
I acquired a slipstream off Stephen which helped negate the increased loss of hybrid, but with the track temperature so high its nearly getting back in the window.
Youve got one lap to accomplish it youre just crawling across the out-lap trying never to cook the trunk tyres.
Jake Hill, ROKiT MB Motorsport BMW 330e M Sport
Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images
With the hot temperatures seeming to favour the rear-wheel-drive format, Ingram was the fastest of the front-driven contenders, taking fourth on the grid along with his Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N.
Ingram, at the circuit where in fact the Hyundai took its first win in 2021, was in the pole battle in early stages but had no answer ultimately to the BMWs.
Ciceley Motorsports Adam Morgan managed to get four BMWs in the very best five, while veteran Jason Plato, back at the scene of his first BTCC race win 25 years back, put in the very best qualifying performance of his farewell season in the series to claim sixth position in his BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R.
Plato just edged out Team Dynamics Dan Rowbottom for the honour of fastest Honda driver, with Dan Cammish taking eighth in his Motorbase Performance Ford Focus.
Tom Chilton continued his recent upward curve to go ninth in his Excelr8 Hyundai, with the very best 10 completed by the Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Corolla of Ricky Collard.
Reigning champion Ash Sutton was 11th in his Motorbase Ford. He was on a late push-lap when he spun off at Riches.
Double Croft winner Dan Lloyd also went off course at the Esses, but qualified his Excelr8 Hyundai 12th, while Gordon Shedden is 14th following a difficult day in his Dynamics Honda.
Title contender Josh Cooks woes continue he was 22nd, and over another adrift of BTC team-mate Plato. Still, thats four places before Rory Butcher, even though Speedworks Toyota pilot did set a period sufficient for 20th before that has been deleted because of track limits.