Aauxhall drivers go head-to-head with Thompson and Muller on equal points.
Vauxhall Motorsport's James Thompson and Yvan Muller will start the final race day of the 2002 Green Flag MSA British Touring Car Championship at Donington Park tomorrow, on equal points after Thompson clawed back his one point deficit this afternoon by taking pole position for the 15-lap Sprint Race. With Muller sharing the drivers' title lead with Thompson and Egg Sport's Matt Neal in overall third place in the championship, tomorrow's big showdown looks set to be an all Vauxhall affair.
With pole wrapped up for the Sprint, Thompson will then start the 25-lap Feature race, and last race of the season, from third place on the grid. Muller meanwhile starts both his final rounds from the second row after posting third and fourth places in the two, twenty-minute sessions. However, Egg Sport's Astra Coupe driver, Matt Neal was on stunning form and he lines up from the front row of the grid for both races after narrowly missing out first to Thompson in the Sprint qualifying by 0.060 of a second and then Priaulx in the Feature by 0.022 of a second.
Once again, Vauxhall dominated qualifying with Thompson, Neal and Muller claiming the first three places on the grid for the Sprint race. And although Priaulx pipped them all to pole in the Feature, their Astra Coupes will be breathing down his neck as they line up in second, third and fourth places.
Vauxhall Motorsport Quotes
Yvan Muller, Car 2, Vauxhall Motorsport Astra Coupe
Sprint - 3rd, Feature - 4th
"I'm very satisfied with that. I think we really improved the Astra during the qualifying session and am happy with P3 and P4. I've always struggled at Donington to find the right set-up so it's a good start to the weekend. The races tomorrow though are another story!"
James Thompson, Car 3, Vauxhall Motorsport Astra Coupe
Sprint - Pole, 1m41.378s, Feature - 3rd
"Well, considering we didn't get the chance to set up the car yesterday, that wasn't bad at all! I think a double pole was a realistic expectation but I'll take the one! My target today was to at least level the playing field with Yvan and that's what I've done. It was pretty tricky out there though. The first session wasn't bad but the second session was just horrible - dust and dirt everywhere."
OTHER VAUXHALL NEWS
Matt Neal, Car 0, Egg Sport Vauxhall Astra Coupe
Sprint - 2nd, Feature - 2nd
"Great start to the weekend. I thought my first time was a fast one but then I thought I'd have a go at doing something special!"
Paul O'Neill, Car 29, Egg Sport Vauxhall Astra Coupe
Sprint - 6th, Feature - 7th
"Not a bad session, I'm happy with that. I think I could have had a fourth on the grid but my aim now is to get on the podium at least once this weekend."