James Thompson's hopes of catching Vauxhall team-mate Yvan Muller in their battle for the Green Flag MSA British Touring Car title were given a major boost when he qualified on pole position for the first of Donington Park's two races and the Frenchman failed to set a lap time.

Thompson, responding to pressure from Honda's Matt Neal and privateer Vauxhall driver Rob Collard, put pole position beyond reach with a sensational lap time of one minute, 14.610 seconds. It is his sixth pole position of the season and earns him a bonus point.

Muller, who holds a 26-point lead over Thompson with four rounds -- including tomorrow's (Sunday) two at Donington -- to go, will have to start the race from the back of the grid after his Vauxhall Astra Coupe broke down at the side of the track.

Collard's third position on the grid -- the first time this year a privateer entry has broken into the top three in qualifying -- will help him enormously in his quest to win the Hilton Independents Trophy.

Further down the grid, Luke Hines was the fastest of the Production class runners in Barwell Motorsport's Honda Civic Type-R. Hines leads the Production class and can become champion at Donington.

For the full qualifying report plus all the latest news and results visit the official BTCC website www.tocatour.co.uk