Brands Hatch: Series qualifying report

Dominant pole for Chilton Tom Chilton has taken a clear pole position in today's Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship qualifying session at Brands Hatch. Team Aon's Chilton lapped the world famous Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit in a ...

Dominant pole for Chilton

Tom Chilton has taken a clear pole position in today's Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship qualifying session at Brands Hatch.

Team Aon's Chilton lapped the world famous Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit in a record time of 1m31.604s to achieve his second pole in a row at the wheel of his LPG-turbo Ford Focus.

Chilton, aged 25 from Poole, said: "That was like a lap from the gods! The car out the back on the GP loop was right on the limit but so fast. I'm also confident that we can run the same set-up for the races but we'll take a call in the morning -- it could be wet and, out of all the days of testing we did pre-season, none were wet."

Honda Racing Team driver Gordon Shedden was second, some 0.471s adrift but a similar distance ahead of third-fastest James Nash in his Triple Eight-run Vauxhall Vectra.

Scottish ace Shedden and rising star Nash, from Buckinghamshire, both believe Chilton is beatable tomorrow. Shedden said: "My best hope is he fluffs his start or screws his tyres in the opening laps." Nash added: "I think my car will be kinder on its tyres compared to the Fords and Hondas so if I can hang on to them I'll be hoping to charge back after them in the closing stages."

Shedden's team-mate Matt Neal was fourth, three places ahead of Silverline Chevrolet's Jason Plato, the man he is chasing at the top of the points table. Both their cars are starting the weekend laden with success ballast. Meanwhile, completing the top six were leading BMW driver, WSR's Robert Collard and Plato's team-mate, youngster Alex MacDowall.

After seventh-placed Plato and rounding out the top ten came Andrew Jordan, eighth despite 'beaching' his Pirtek Vauxhall Vectra in the gravel trap at Clark Curve, Chilton's team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole and Paul O'Neill in Sunshine.co.uk with Tech-Speed Honda Integra. Notably, Onslow-Cole was left with just five minutes to make his mark after all his earlier times were expunged when his car failed a ride hight test.

Of the locals, Wrotham-based team Airwaves BMW's two drivers Mat Jackson and Steven Kane qualified 13th and 14th, while Orpington's Shaun Hollamby, in his VW Golf entered by West Thurrock outfit AmD Milltek Racing.com, was 19th.

Tomorrow's three BTCC races will receive live TV coverage on the ITV4 channel from 11.30am-6.00pm. The www.itv.com website will also live-stream the day's action.

-source: btcc.net

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Series BTCC
Drivers Tom Chilton , Paul O'Neill , Jason Plato , Matt Neal , Steven Kane , Tom Onslow-Cole , Gordon Shedden , Andrew Jordan , James Nash , Mat Jackson , Shaun Hollamby , Alex MacDowall