Lewis Kent came out on top in his quest for his first pole position of the year in the Dunlop Touring Car Trophy/TCR UK Championship. The Essex & Kent Motorsport driver will be in prime position to clinch the championship, with his TCT rival alongside him on the grid.
A cool Donington Park circuit saw the first spits of rain grace the Leicestershire countryside as all drivers took to the track to set their initial benchmark.
Lewis Kent was the first to set a competitive lap time, setting a 1min 15.194 in his Hyundai i30 N TCR. Kent continued to push the limits, but it would be his brother Bradley Kent, racing in the VW Racing Cup, who knocked the tyre bail from the chicane onto the racing line, bringing out the red flag and a temporary stoppage.
A restart to proceedings, was vital for the championship hunt, as Henry Neal languished in fourth behind series newcomer Sam Osbourne. A restart gave the Neal the opportunity to hit back, dropping below the 1min 15sec barrier.
Not to be outdone on a drying track, Kent set a 1:11.780, which Neal was unable to match on his following run. The dice was far from over though as Neal once again stole the show.
It would take a special lap from Kent after the clock had run down for him to secure the all-important pole position, setting a 1:10.626, pulling an incredible half a second over his rival. The five points for pole putting him now within 1 point of Neal.
Debutante Osbourne lit up the show ahead of the weekend and a third place in his first session could yet make him a threat for the overall win come race one. The only other driver within a second of Kent, the CUPRA Leon TCR outpaced his experience compatriot William Butler who joins him on the second row.
Max Hart had struggled throughout the session and will be disappointed to only start fifth in his quest to finish the year as the top TCR car. The Irish driver set a 1:12.689 to put him ahead of 2019 polesitter Darrelle Wilson, whose session was hampered by a spin at the old hairpin for the Vauxhalll Astra.
Tim Docker leads the fourth row ahead the returning Mark Wakefield. The JM Racing driver was a podium finisher during his one off appearance in 2019 and will be determined to repeat the feat this weekend. Rounding out the grid was rookie Jeff Alden in the Honda Civic TCR.
All races will be streamed Live this weekend.