Donington: Series qualifying report

'OUTSIDER' CHILTON GRABS DONINGTON POLE AS TITLE PROTAGONISTS FILL TOP FIVE POSITIONS Title outsider Tom Chilton has taken pole position in Donington Park's Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship qualifying session as the five main title ...

'OUTSIDER' CHILTON GRABS DONINGTON POLE AS TITLE PROTAGONISTS FILL TOP FIVE POSITIONS

Title outsider Tom Chilton has taken pole position in Donington Park's Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship qualifying session as the five main title protagonists filled the top spots.

Chilton achieved his fourth pole of the season in a time of 1m11.328s in his Team Aon Ford Focus - just ahead of his team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole. Honda Racing Team's Gordon Shedden, Silverline Chevrolet's Jason Plato and Shedden's team-mate Matt Neal completed the top five.

The championship order presently is Plato, Neal, Onslow-Cole, Shedden and Chilton with 58 points separating them and a possible 52 available from tomorrow's three races.

Surrey racer Chilton said: "I've got a lot of ground to make up tomorrow if I'm to stay in the hunt going to the final round at Brands Hatch next month but this is a great start. Ideally, I need to come out of the first corner tomorrow in the lead, look in my mirror and see the other four taking each other off into the gravel…"

Onslow-Cole, from New Malden, added: "I didn't think we'd have the pace to qualify on the front row so it's a nice bonus. The main aim tomorrow has to be to finish in front of both Jason and Matt so it edges me just that bit closer but obviously I could with them getting stuck behind a few other cars."

Scottish ace Shedden remained upbeat - "we could be in for a mixed bag of weather tomorrow but I'm confident our car will be good in all conditions" - while Worcestershire team-mate Neal admitted: "I hope it rains. I want some curveballs coming in because I need them."

Oxford-based Plato, who holds a 20-point lead over nearest challenger and fellow former champion Neal going into tomorrow, commented: "Again we're near the sharp end of the grid with maximum success ballast (45kgs) in the Chevrolet which we calculate is costing us half a second a lap. So I'm pretty pleased with that and I really think in race trim our car can come back at the others."

Tomorrow's three races will be shown live during a six and a half hour TV broadcast on the ITV4 channel from 11.30am-6.00pm.

-source: btcc

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Series BTCC
Drivers Tom Chilton , Jason Plato , Matt Neal , Gordon Shedden