BMW and WSR will line-up second and third on the grid at Brands Hatch following a thrilling and chaotic rain-soaked British Touring Car Championship qualifying session on Saturday.

Team BMW’s Colin Turkington narrowly missed out on a record fifth pole position on the Kent circuit’s Indy lay-out; the scene of three 24-lap races on Sunday, having triumphed over Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill in a tense battle in the ‘Top-10 Showdown’.

In fact, BMW might even have secured an unprecedented wet-weather front-row lock-out until both drivers were usurped in the final moments of the session, by a front-wheel driven rival on a last-gasp new-tyre run.

Local hero Jake set the early pace in the almost-dry opening free practice session and continued to lead the quartet of BMW 330e M Sports in the much wetter second session.

But the rain continued unabated into the two-part qualifying session, the first part of which was red-flagged three times due to weather-related incidents.

One of these sadly afflicted Team BMW newcomer Adam Morgan, who collided with a stranded car while spinning himself at Paddock Hill Bend. The Lancashire driver will line-up 24th, six places behind team-mate Stephen Jelley.

Jake set the fastest time of all at the end of that chaotic 30-minute session and he and four-time champion Colin then traded fastest times for much of the 10-minute shoot-out.

In the end the Northern Irishman’s final lap was enough to settle the fight for the final front-row spot, but it was close; the pair separated by just 0.006s when the chequered flag fell.

Tomorrow’s three races will be screened live on ITV4, with the first race beginning at 1150.

 Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport, said: “It feels good to have a solid result here. I said I’d be chuffed with a top-five position and we’re third on the grid, so I am very happy with that. These conditions don’t favour us massively, but we have improved the BMW a lot for wet running. I’m thrilled with that. Tomorrow looks dry, so fingers crossed we can find some good pace and get on the podium!”

Colin Turkington, Team BMW, said: “Given those conditions, I wouldn’t have expected to be challenging for pole, so I’m pleased with second. It was as tricky as it gets out there and it was tough to drive in. It’s not an easy balance, and it basically depends on how much risk you’re prepared to take when the weather is like that. I’m not too disappointed that I am not on pole. Second is arguably a better place to start from and with any luck we’ve got all the wet running out of the way for the season!”

Adam Morgan, Team BMW, said: “I struggled to switch the tyres on from the start of qualifying. I couldn’t find much rear grip and even coming on to the straight I just couldn’t get the power down. Unfortunately, I then had a spin at Paddock Hill, and had it been the lap before, I would have got away with it and continued. But Nic Hamilton had spun moments before, and I was just a passenger and hit him. Really bad luck, but tomorrow is another day.”

Stephen Jelley, Team BMW, said: “Those were difficult conditions and unfortunately, I didn’t quite hit the nail on the head in the last run. It’s so tight out there that one tenth could have moved us up the grid by five slots. Jake and Colin obviously have good set-ups and did very well in qualifying, so we have good information to work with and see how we can improve our car for race day.”

Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “I am really happy for Colin and Jake. Considering those conditions, we are very pleased with second and third on the grid. I thought we might have had a one-two, but Dan Cammish came in and put a new set of fronts on at the end. We’ve worked hard on the car to improve it in the rain and I am very pleased with how the BMW 330e M Sport has performed. It puts us in a good position for tomorrow if it’s dry. Adam was unfortunate to spin when the conditions were at their worst, and Nic Hamilton was there.”