Honda’s Matt Neal took his second consecutive pole position in British Touring Car Championship qualifying at Oulton Park, ahead of BMW Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan and Ciceley Motorsport’s Aiden Moffat.
Having taken pole at the previous meeting at Thruxton, Neal added to his tally on a dry Oulton Park circuit, taking pole by a comfortable 0.126 seconds ahead of Jordan.
Jordan’s second also marks an improvement in qualifying form, with the result being the Pirtek Racing driver’s best qualifying results since Thruxton in 2014.
Team BMW’s Colin Turkington had been down in 21st with just under five minutes to go, when the red flags came out when Matt Simpson spun into the barriers on the exit of Druids.
A ten minute delay ensured and when the session resumed the BMW driver was able to improve to go fourth after two consecutive improvements in the closing minutes.
The second works Honda of Gordon Shedden was fifth after improving just before the red flags flew, ahead of the leading Subaru of Ash Sutton in sixth.
Motorbase Performance’s Mat Jackson enjoyed his best qualifying result of the season in seventh, ahead of Maximum Motorsport’s Josh Cook in eighth, who cracked the top ten for the first time this season.
The second Team BMW car of Rob Collard and Power Maxed Racing’s Senna Proctor completed the top ten, the latter having been one of a handful of drivers to improve following the stoppage although he later had his time removed (see below).
Championship leader Tom Ingram missed out on the top ten for the first time this year, putting his Speedworks Toyota in 12th for the first race, just behind the Team HARD Volkswagen of Jake Hill.
Subaru’s Jason Plato continued to struggle for pace in his Levorg, as he qualified in 18th and continued to struggle to break into the top ten.
Árón Taylor-Smith was the leading MG driver in 19th, whilst team-mate Dan Lloyd could only manage 26th.
In total 22 drivers were covered by less than a second in a close and competitive qualifying session.
Martin Depper will start race one from the back of the grid, the Motorbase driver having crashed into the barriers along The Avenue after the session resumed.
Following qualifying, six drivers (Tom Chilton, Senna Proctor, Daniel Lloyd, Adam Morgan, Arón Taylor-Smith and Luke Davenport) had their best lap times removed for not slowing under the yellow flags for Depper’s accident. The biggest loser from the decision was Proctor, who dropped from tenth to 16th.
Sutton and Dave Newsham (26th) also lost a best time during the session for track limits infringements.
Original qualifying times
|1||25||M||Matt NEAL||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||12||1:26.151|
|2||77||M||Andrew JORDAN||BMW Pirtek Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||17||1:26.277||0.126|
|3||16||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||15||1:26.400||0.249|
|4||4||M||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 125i M Sport||15||1:26.609||0.458|
|5||52||M||Gordon SHEDDEN||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||13||1:26.612||0.461|
|6||116||M||Ashley SUTTON||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||15||1:26.662||0.511|
|7||3||Mat JACKSON||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo||Ford Focus||14||1:26.700||0.549|
|8||66||Josh COOK||Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport||Ford Focus||13||1:26.722||0.571|
|9||5||M||Rob COLLARD||Team BMW||BMW 125i M Sport||17||1:26.738||0.587|
|10||18||M||Senna PROCTOR||Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||14||1:26.766||0.615|
|11||24||Jake HILL||TAG Racing||Volkswagen CC||13||1:26.801||0.650|
|12||80||Tom INGRAM||Speedworks Motorsport||Toyota Avensis||13||1:26.819||0.668|
|13||31||Jack GOFF||Eurotech Racing||Honda Civic Type R||12||1:26.840||0.689|
|14||12||Mike EPPS||Autoaid / RCIB Insurance Racing||Volkswagen CC||15||1:26.879||0.728|
|15||11||Rob AUSTIN||Handy Motorsport||Toyota Avensis||15||1:26.942||0.791|
|16||33||Adam MORGAN||Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||15||1:26.954||0.803|
|17||303||M||Matt SIMPSON||Simpson Racing||Honda Civic Type R||9||1:26.963||0.812|
|18||99||M||Jason PLATO||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||15||1:26.974||0.823|
|19||40||M||Árón SMITH||MG Racing RCIB Insurance||MG6GT||12||1:27.042||0.891|
|20||55||Jeff SMITH||Eurotech Racing||Honda Civic Type R||12||1:27.045||0.894|
|21||10||Ant WHORTON-EALES||AmDtuning.com with CobraExhausts||Audi S3||14||1:27.131||0.980|
|22||300||Luke DAVENPORT||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo||Ford Focus||13||1:27.141||0.990|
|23||20||M||James COLE||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||14||1:27.153||1.002|
|24||48||Ollie JACKSON||AmDtuning.com with CobraExhausts||Audi S3||14||1:27.156||1.005|
|25||7||Stephen JELLEY||Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport||Ford Focus||14||1:27.168||1.017|
|26||23||M||Daniel LLOYD||MG Racing RCIB Insurance||MG6GT||13||1:27.260||1.109|
|27||2||M||Tom CHILTON||Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||12||1:27.307||1.156|
|28||61||Will BURNS||Autoaid / RCIB Insurance Racing||Volkswagen CC||14||1:27.393||1.242|
|29||17||David NEWSHAM||BTC Norlin Racing||Chevrolet Cruze||13||1:27.439||1.288|
|30||22||Chris SMILEY||BTC Norlin Racing||Chevrolet Cruze||6||1:27.602||1.451|
|31||28||M||Josh PRICE||BMR Racing Academy||Subaru Levorg GT||11||1:27.820||1.669|
|32||30||Martin DEPPER||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo||Ford Focus||12||1:27.948||1.797|