Matt Neal takes pole as Honda lock-out front row at Thruxton

Matt Neal takes pole as Honda lock-out front row at Thruxton

Matt Neal

Matt NealMatt Neal has claimed pole position for this weekend’s British Touring Car Championship meeting at Thruxton, and with team-mate Gordon Shedden alongside Honda have locked out the front row.

Neal fastest time, a 1:16.040, gave him a narrow 0.035 second advantage over defending champion Shedden, the latter of the two Honda Civic Type Rs laden with a full quota of 75 kilograms of success ballast.

Eurotech Racing’s Jack Goff cemented his form during both free practice sessions with third ahead of current championship leader Tom Ingram.

Goff’s team-mate, Jeff Smith, caused a red flag stoppage with five minutes remaining after he clouted the kerb on the inside of Allard on a flying lap, headed onto the grass and spun the car into the opposite barrier.

Despite the incident, Smith lined up seventh behind Rob Austin and Adam Morgan.

That led to a flurry of quick-fire lap times at the end of the session, but nobody was able to match the pace of either works Honda during their second runs.

Honda elected not to send their drivers out during the final exchanges, electing to save tyres for Sunday’s triple-header of contests.

Aron Taylor-Smith and Josh Cook both exited the circuit at Noble, the former brushing the barriers with the front of his MG6 whilst Thruxton instructor Cook skirted his Ford Focus across the grass. Both rejoined.

Any efforts to overturn the Honda duo was curtailed as Josh Price’s Subaru Levorg GT halted out on circuit, bringing out yellow flags.

The top ten would be initially completed by Tom Chilton, Ashley Sutton as the fastest of the rear-wheel drive runners and BMW’s Colin Turkington.

However, Chilton later had his best lap time removed, dropping the Power Maxed Vauxhall driver by three positions to 11th.

Qualifying times

POS NO CL DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 25 M Matt NEAL Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 14 1:16.040
2 52 M Gordon SHEDDEN Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 13 1:16.075 0.035
3 31 Jack GOFF Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Type R 23 1:16.200 0.160
4 80 Tom INGRAM Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis 15 1:16.236 0.196
5 11 Rob AUSTIN Handy Motorsport Toyota Avensis 22 1:16.377 0.337
6 55 Jeff SMITH Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Type R 19 1:16.395 0.355
7 33 Adam MORGAN Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class 19 1:16.494 0.454
8 116 M Ashley SUTTON Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg GT 17 1:16.588 0.548
9 4 M Colin TURKINGTON Team BMW BMW 125i M Sport 19 1:16.622 0.582
10 3 Mat JACKSON Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo Ford Focus 17 1:16.640 0.600
11 2 M Tom CHILTON Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra 21 1:16.648 0.608
12 16 Aiden MOFFAT Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class 19 1:16.653 0.613
13 303 M Matt SIMPSON Simpson Racing Honda Civic Type R 15 1:16.656 0.616
14 18 M Senna PROCTOR Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra 23 1:16.702 0.662
15 300 Luke DAVENPORT Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo Ford Focus 19 1:16.742 0.702
16 77 M Andrew JORDAN BMW Pirtek Racing BMW 125i M Sport 24 1:16.864 0.824
17 66 Josh COOK Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport Ford Focus 16 1:16.934 0.894
18 5 M Rob COLLARD Team BMW BMW 125i M Sport 21 1:16.962 0.922
19 10 Ant WHORTON-EALES AmDtuning.com with CobraExhausts Audi S3 18 1:16.966 0.926
20 12 Mike EPPS Autoaid / RCIB Insurance Racing Volkswagen CC 18 1:16.974 0.934
21 99 M Jason PLATO Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg GT 15 1:17.039 0.999
22 17 David NEWSHAM BTC Norlin Racing Chevrolet Cruze 14 1:17.060 1.020
23 40 M Árón SMITH MG Racing RCIB Insurance MG6GT 13 1:17.130 1.090
24 24 Jake HILL TAG Racing Volkswagen CC 16 1:17.248 1.208
25 48 Ollie JACKSON AmDtuning.com with CobraExhausts Audi S3 18 1:17.252 1.212
26 20 M James COLE Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg GT 23 1:17.255 1.215
27 22 Chris SMILEY BTC Norlin Racing Chevrolet Cruze 18 1:17.283 1.243
28 7 Stephen JELLEY Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport Ford Focus 19 1:17.451 1.411
29 23 M Daniel LLOYD MG Racing RCIB Insurance MG6GT 16 1:17.460 1.420
30 61 Will BURNS Autoaid / RCIB Insurance Racing Volkswagen CC 19 1:17.571 1.531
31 30 Martin DEPPER Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo Ford Focus 21 1:17.767 1.727
32 28 M Josh PRICE BMR Racing Academy Subaru Levorg GT 19 1:18.172 2.132

Complete session results