British Touring Car Championship leader Colin Turkington said he had to be 'super disciplined' in the tricky conditions during qualifying after the Team BMW driver clinched pole position for Sunday's opening race at Brands Hatch.

The defending three-time champion sailed to his third pole position of 2019 to give himself the best chance of converting a now 17-point championship lead into a record-equalling fourth BTCC drivers' title on Sunday.

Turkington went into qualifying with 54 kilos of success ballast but took advantage of the wet track conditions to crucially out-qualify all of his title rivals, also gaining what could prove to be a crucial bonus-point.

BMW team mate Andrew Jordan proved to be Turkington's nearest challenger in third, while Josh Cook, Dan Cammish and Tom Ingram will line up in 8th, 12th and 17th, respectively.

"Very tough conditions all day," Turkington told "I think qualifying was the most difficult of the lot. Trying to predict the weather has been tough all day.

"I’m pleased with the performance and I’m pleased with pole and a point. It’s good to start the weekend on a positive note.

"Qualifying was wetter than any of the free practice sessions. That’s why we had to make some changes through the session to make the car faster.

"It’s not easy in those conditions to know how hard to push and where the limit is. I think we got it just about right."

Turkington's pole margin over Subaru's Ashley Sutton was over 0.3s after the BMW 330i M Sport driver was able to set a rapid sequence of laps early in the session with a clear track in front of him.

"For me I like getting out there and cracking on and trying to build the temperature. You never know when the track is going to be at its best. It’s worked for me a few times this year, trying to push on and getting a good banker in," Turkington continued.

"You have to be super disciplined. You almost have to drive beneath the level. Just to stay off the kerbs and maximise the traction. The car is very lively in those conditions. It’s just about putting a sensible lap together."