Colin Turkington took the early advantage in the race to secure the Independents' title after outpacing main rival Mat Jackson in qualifying for the latest rounds of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone.
The Team RAC driver was on the pace in both free practice sessions at the Northamptonshire, finishing fourth quickest in both, although Jackson was never far behind in the similar 320si of BMW Dealer Team UK.
However, in qualifying, Turkington was able to get a good lap in while the circuit was at its best to lie in second place behind Jason Plato. Although Darren Turner managed to put his car on the front row late in the session and demote Turkington to third, the Northern Irishman was still left pleased by the result.
"I'm really happy," he told Crash.net
after qualifying. "We have improved throughout the day and we are quicker than we expected to be as we haven't qualified as strongly as we would have hoped in recent events. The fact that Adam [Jones in twelfth] and Mat [in 14th] are further down the field is an added bonus for us.
"We knew the diesels would be quick but I haven't been behind one today to see where they are really strong and where we might have an advantage in the races. We should be quicker through the high-speed corners but they will benefit through Luffield and Maggotts where you go from second gear up to top speed.
"We'll see what tomorrow brings."