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Tom Onslow-Cole takes pole at Oulton

Tom Onslow-Cole took his first pole position in two years this afternoon after he set a blistering lap in qualifying at Oulton Park. Gordon Shedden will start from second after just missing out to the Team Aon driver. It is the third time today that Shedden has been second fastest by a tiny margin, this time just 0.020 seconds!

Click here for the full qualifying times.

Speaking to after the session, Onslow-Cole said: “It’s about time! I’m really chuffed with that because I wasn’t on the pace in the two practice sessions but really had a good look at the data and made some changes to the car which worked a treat. It’s also a great feeling to be on pole at Oulton as it’s a real test for a driver.”

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Jason Plato will start the first race from third tomorrow, with Alex MacDowall alongside making it an all Silverline Chevrolet second row. Plato feels that he missed his chance to take pole, saying “my first lap, when the tyres were at their freshest, should have been my best but it didn’t quite all come together. I actually set my time when the best had gone out of the tyres.” After extensive pre-season testing at Oulton Park Plato would be a strong bet for a victory tomorrow.

Despite being the pace setter in both of the day’s practice sessions, Tom Chilton could only manage fifth in qualifying. His time of 1:27.566 was faster than he had been all day but such was the speed of the track in qualifying he couldn’t match the pace increase aat the front.

Rob Collard will be pleased to have qualified in sixth after having earlier admitted that he feels his race set-up is looking very strong. Before qualifying he told reporters: “I think the best we can hope for is fifth in qualifying. I’d be very happy with that as we’ve now got an excellent set-up for race conditions on this track.”

Matt Neal and close friend Paul O’Neill qualified in 7th and 8th respectively, whilst Mat Jackson and James Nash completed the top ten. Jackson had earlier had a large ‘moment’ at Old Hall corner when he ran wide whilst pushing for a faster lap time and scuffed the barriers on the outside of the turn. He is confident that the car can be polished up in time for tomorrow.

Of note, Lea Wood will start from 13th tomorrow after producing a stunning lap in only his second BTCC qualifying session. “I certainly wasn’t expecting that,” he told “We just went out there, put four new tyres and tried to hold on for the best we could get and it’s worked out quite well! But we are still very new to this and so it’s non-stop for us trying to find out what does and doesn’t work on the car. My plans tomorrow are just to finish each race. If I can do that I’ll be happy.”

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