First BTCC pole for LPG Tom Chilton has given LPG power its first ever pole position in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship with the fastest time in today's qualifying session at the Rockingham circuit in Northamptonshire. Chilton,...
First BTCC pole for LPG
Tom Chilton has given LPG power its first ever pole position in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship with the fastest time in today's qualifying session at the Rockingham circuit in Northamptonshire.
Chilton, using Dunlop's new Sport Maxx BTCC race tyre, shattered the lap record with a time of 1m23.363s in his Team Aon Ford Focus that is only in its second event using the liquefied petroleum gas technology.
The 25-year-old from Poole, Dorset said: "I'd pieced the perfect lap together in my mind beforehand and reeled every corner, every gear change off as I'd planned it. It was a good job I did as I couldn't get near it again after that!"
Qualifying second fastest alongside Chilton on the front row of the grid for the first of tomorrow's three BTCC races was the Honda Racing Team Honda Civic of former double champion Matt Neal.
A hugely impressive third in only his second-ever BTCC event was Silverline Chevrolet's Alex MacDowall -- at 19 also the youngest driver in the field. Notably, the Carlisle teenager's time was faster than that of experienced team-mate and many people's title favourite in 2010, Jason Plato, who was fifth fastest.
Plato, whose Chevrolet Cruze is carrying 36kg of success ballast, had been fourth but in the dying seconds was knocked back a place by Chilton's team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole whose pace further underlined the strides being made by Team Aon with its LPG technology.
Completing the top six on his return to the BTCC was James Nash in Uniq Racing with Triple Eight's Vauxhall Vectra that is being sponsored by blockbuster movie Avatar.
Meanwhile, it was a tough qualifying session for BMW drivers, Thruxton winner Steven Kane the best of them in ninth in his Airwaves 320si with team-mate Mat Jackson in 11th and WSR pair Robert Collard and Andy Neate 12th and 15th.
The first two of tomorrow's three BTCC races will receive live TV coverage on the ITV4 channel from 11.00am-3.00pm. Additional live coverage -- including race three -- will continue on thewww.itv.com website with ITV4 then showing a 90-minute highlights programme of all three races later in the evening from 9.00pm-10.30pm.
STOP PRESS: BTCC officials have fined Matt Neal for his part in a clash with Robert Collard at Thruxton three weeks ago.
Honda Racing Team driver Neal and WSR's Collard clashed in the middle of the chicane in the third of Thruxton's three races. Both drivers retired with damage to their cars, Collard's BMW being spun round into a barrier.
On reviewing the incident officials deemed that Neal had "caused an avoidable collision" and have fined him £250.00 and added three penalty points to his competition licence.