Chris Smiley made the best of the difficult conditions during Qualifying at Snetterton to take pole position ahead of the first race of the day, where the 2022 TCR UK Touring Car Championship title will be decided.
The 30-minute session witnessed one of the seven title contenders, Jac Constable, pull off shortly after leaving the pits and take no further part as Smiley started setting the early pace in this Restart Racing Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR, whilst Bradley Hutchison kept his Bond It with MPH Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR inside the top five places during the sessions.
There was a collective cheer as Adam Shepherd took to the track, joining the session with twenty-five minutes to go after the Area Motorsport with Shepherd Motors Hyundai i30 N TCR driver slid off during the earlier Free Practice session and damaged the front of his car.
With Smiley and Hutchison setting the early pace, the likes of Alex Ley in the Area Motorsport with Daniel James Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR, Isaac Smith in his Race Car Consultants Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR, Bradley Kent in his Essex and Kent Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR and Callum Newsham in the Power Maxed Racing CUPRA TCR also staked their claims to being at the front of the grid for the first race of the day.
Smiley claimed pole position, setting his quickest time around halfway through the session, with Alex Ley claiming second on the grid, however already aware that due to an engine change, he would start from the back of race one with work to do. It was in fact the Hyundai driver who went off track at Riches and hit the barrier, causing an early end to the session as conditions deteriorated.
This left Hutchison to start second place, with Bradley Kent in third place ahead of title contender Smith in fourth place as Newsham completed the top five places.
Bruce Winfield, having swapped his CUPRA TCR at Area Motorsport for an ex TCR Italy Hyundai i30 N TCR, sealed sixth place on the grid ahead of Lewis Kent in the Essex and Kent Motorsport Hyundai Veloster N TCR as Shepherd, championship debutant Jonathon Beeson and Goodyear Diamond Trophy leader Andy Wilmot completed the top ten.
Matthew Wilson qualified his JWB Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR in eleventh place ahead of Scott Sumpton in the third Essex and Kent Motorsport Hyundai whilst Russell Joyce and Darelle Wilson lined in 13th and 14th places respectively.
Row eight of the grid saw championship debutants Mark Havers in his T4 Motorsport CUPRA TCR line up ahead of George Jaxon in his Team Hard with Go Fix CUPRA TCR. Jac Constable brought up the rear of the grid for race one.
With Constable not scoring points in Qualifying, he drops out of title contention leaving six drivers to fight it out in race one: Chris Smiley, Isaac Smith, Adam Shepherd, Bruce Winfield, Lewis Kent and Alex Ley.