Team BMW will start from the front row after an excellent qualifying performance at the latest round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton.
Colin Turkington qualified second at the Norfolk circuit to equal his best result of the season.
The Northern Irishman, who has won at Snetterton for the past two seasons, was fast throughout the session, despite carrying 57kg success ballast in his WSR-run BMW 125i M Sport.
Turkington’s team-mate, Rob Collard, secured one of his best Saturday spots of 2017 with 10th.
The Hampshire racer has an even heavier car with 66kg ballast on board due to his second place in the Drivers’ Championship.
Sunday’s trio of races will give Team BMW the opportunity to maintain their lead of both the Teams’ and Manufacturers’ Championships.
Colin Turkington said: “I’m very pleased to qualify on the front row for the second event in a row. We made a few changes between FP2 and qualifying and they really worked. This puts me in quite a strong position for Race One tomorrow, despite having 57kg ballast in my BMW. I won’t be taking any risks because every point is crucial, but I’m ahead of all the main championship contenders, so tomorrow’s a very good opportunity to gain some points on them.”
Rob Collard said: “I’m reasonably happy with 10th place because I’ve equalled my best qualifying result of the season and done it with 66kg ballast too. It’s a little frustrating that I’ve just slipped down a place right at the end of the session, but I’m in the mix and have a good opportunity to move forwards tomorrow. I’d like to be closer to Colin, but we’ll work hard tonight to analyse the data from qualifying and do something to close that gap.”
Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “In a series as closely-contested as the BTCC, it’s pretty good to have both Team BMW drivers in the top 10, which will help us considerably as we aim to protect our Teams’ and Manufacturers’ Championship leads and to advance the hopes of Colin and Rob in the Drivers’ title race. With things so finely poised, tactics will be very important in tomorrow’s races so we’ll be working out a strategy to maximise the points potential for each of them.”