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Dave Newsham and ES Racing take pole for British Touring Car opener at Brands Hatch

Dave Newsham takes Brands poleDave Newsham will start on pole for Sunday's opening British Touring Car round at Brands Hatch after topping qualifying.

The Team ES Racing Vauxhall Vectra driver set a time of 48.483s in the first third of the session. He could not improve thereafter - and had an off - but nobody could beat his early mark.

Reigning champion Matt Neal qualified the new NGTC Honda Civic in second with a late run of 48.615s.

Rob Collard (WSR BMW) and Andrew Jordan (Eurotech Honda Civic) were third and fourth after setting exactly the same time. Jordan's last run was spoiled by Newsham's team-mate, Chris James, as the session ended.

Thanks to electrical issues throughout the day, Gordon Shedden only made it out for the last 10 minutes. He managed a time good enough for fifth - 48.745s but that was disallowed for going over the track limits. He will therefore start ninth.

Jason Plato was also late out in his new works MG6, but still recorded a sub-49s lap to qualify sixth.

Rob Austin's Audi and Frank Wrathall's Toyota were next, while early pacesetter Nick Foster made it three WSR BMWs in the top 10.

BTCC debutant Adam Morgan was 13th quickest in his Speedworks Motorsport Toyota.

Pos  Driver           Team/Car           Time       Gap
 1.  Dave Newsham     ES Vauxhall        48.483s
 2.  Matt Neal        Dynamics Honda     48.615s    + 0.132s
 3.  Rob Collard      WSR BMW            48.698s    + 0.215s
 4.  Andrew Jordan    Eurotech Honda     48.698s    + 0.215s
 5.  Tom Onslow-Cole  WSR BMW            48.765s    + 0.282s
 6.  Jason Plato      Triple 8 MG        48.868s    + 0.385s
 7.  Rob Austin       Austin Audi        48.883s    + 0.400s
 8.  Frank Wrathall   Dynojet Toyota     48.963s    + 0.480s
 9.  Gordon Shedden   Dynamics Honda     49.022s    + 0.539s
10.  Nick Foster      WSR BMW            49.078s    + 0.595s
11.  Mat Jackson      Motorbase Ford     49.100s    + 0.617s
12.  Jeff Smith       Eurotech Honda     49.166s    + 0.683s
13.  Adam Morgan      Speedworks Toyota  49.176s    + 0.693s
14.  Aron Smith       Motorbase Ford     49.257s    + 0.774s
15.  Lea Wood         Wood Vauxhall      49.421s    + 0.938s
16.  Ollie Jackson    AmD Volkswagen     49.604s    + 1.121s
17.  Liam Griffin     Motorbase Ford     49.623s    + 1.140s
18.  Chris James      ES Vauxhall        49.861s    + 1.378s
19.  Andy Neate       Triple 8 MG        50.126s    + 1.643s
20.  Tony Gilham      Gilham Honda       50.617s    + 2.134s
21.  Tony Hughes      Speedworks Toyota  52.301s    + 3.818s
22.  Daniel Welch     Welch Proton       1m02.449s  + 13.966s
23.  John Thorne      Thorney Vauxhall
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