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Tom Chilton continues pace to take pole position

Tom Chilton will start the first of tomorrow’s BTCC races from pole position after he continued his stunning pace around the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit. The Team Aon driver set a time nearly half a second faster than second-placed Gordon Shedden. James Nash will start from third after setting a quick lap in his Triple Eight Vauxhall Vectra.

Click here for the full qualifying times.

After taking his second pole position in a row, Chilton 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.”

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It marks the second pole position for an LPG-powered car in the championship and, given the Focus’ strong from last time out at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, Chilton is looking good for taking a race win on Sunday.

“I’m also confident that we can run the same set-up for the races but we’ll take a call in the morning,” added Chilton. “It could be wet and, out of all the days of testing we did pre-season, none were wet.”

Honda Racing driver Shedden is hoping for a poor start for Chilton. Given that at Rockingham Chilton started from pole but made poor tyre decisions in the damp conditions, the Scotsman is hoping that he will again make the better decision. Nash is also thinking about the tyre situation for raceday and believes his car will be the kindest of all three of them on tyres.

Lining up in fourth is Matt Neal who is hoping to close the gap in the championship to current leader Jason Plato. Rob Collard set the fifth fastest time, whilst the Chevrolet Cruze of Alex MacDowall will start alongside him in sixth.

After a morning of troubles, Plato managed to set the seventh fastest time although he is not completely satisfied with the set up of his car. The former champion lost precious running time in the first practice session after the team made a precautionary engine change following an oil warning light inside the car.

Said Plato of his day: “At the moment the car is a little tricky to drive, it’s not very progressive or forgiving, which makes it difficult to run on the limit. I wasn’t able to attack, but we’re only a couple of tenths off. My best was a 1:32.6s, but it should have been a 1:32.4s, which is about 0.7s quicker than last year (in the Lacetti).  That’s about where we’ll be in this car.”

Andrew Jordan qualified in 8th position, despite been the second fastest driver in first practice. Tom Onslow-Cole will start from ninth tomorrow – the second Team Aon driver had his fastest times removed after failing a ride-height test mid way through the session. Paul O’Neill will start from 10th and was once again the fastest BTC-spec driver by some distance.

David Pinkney experienced engine troubles during the day but was still able to set the 12th fastest time. Elsewhere it was a bad qualifying session for the local Airwaves BMW team, as drivers Mat Jackson and Steven Kane could only manage 13th and 14th respectively.

BTCC newcomers Lea Wood and Martin Depper qualified 17th and 20th respectively for their debuts in the championship.

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