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Turbo Toms top Silverstone qualifying

Tom Onslow-Cole has taken pole position for the first of tomorrow’s BTCC races at Silverstone, whilst team-mate Tom Chilton will start alongside after posting the second fastest time. The Team Aon drivers have been widely tipped to dominate at Silverstone and their times in qualifying will prove ominous to their rivals – both drivers lapped below the 1-minute mark and were more than half a second faster than the opposition.

Click here for the full order from qualifying.

It is also the first all Ford qualifying-based front row since Oulton Park in 2000. Such was the speed of the turbocharged LPG cars that both drivers were able to smash the lap record around the Silverstone national circuit.

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“I’m really pleased with that one,” said Onslow-Cole to “We knew this would be a good circuit for us but maybe we’re both a bit surprised by the margin. I need three strong results here to keep up the pressure in the title race and pole for race one gives me a great chance of achieving that.”

Alex MacDowall will line up third for the first race, setting a fast lap early on in the session aided by the fact that he is running without any success ballast. His ballast-laden team-mate Jason Plato was fourth fastest, just over a tenth of a second slower than his younger team-mate.

Matt Neal, who has an uprated engine in his Honda Civic courtesy of Neil Brown Engineering, was fifth fastest and will be hoping to leapfrong Plato in front as he looks to close the 20 point gap at the top of the championship table.

Sixth fastest was Andrew Jordan, who has put in strong laps all day. He is also running a turbocharged engine in the new NGTC engine, which has been attributed to his performances around the fast national circuit at Silverstone.

Paul O’Neill once again qualified in the top ten, setting the seventh quickest lap, whilst Rob Collard will start alongside him. Collard was once again the top BMW driver and had been as high as sixth in free practice.

James Nash qualified in ninth whilst Gordon Shedden was tenth. Notably, Shedden does not have an uprated engine in his Honda this weekend and will carry 27kg in the first race tomorrow.

Martin Depper had to sit out qualifying after suffering from a hefty accident in the second practice session, where he went backwards into the barriers heavily. Phil Glew, who makes his return to the BTCC this weekend, managed only two laps in qualifying before his driveshaft broke.

Finally Martin Johnson has probably the best excuse of anyone for starting from last – he was at his Son’s wedding today so will be allowed to start from the very back for race one tomorrow.

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