Brands Hatch BTCC: Tom Onslow-Cole captures pole in thriller

Tom Onslow-Cole took pole position in a thrilling British Touring Car session on the Brands Hatch GP circuit

Brands Hatch BTCC: Tom Onslow-Cole captures pole in thriller

Onslow-Cole's WSR BMW suffered a broken throttle cable at the start of the session, while Jason Plato's works MG and then Andrew Jordan's Eurotech Honda Civic set the early pace.

After a red flag, caused by Chris James (ES Racing Vauxhall Vectra) going off at Surtees, championship contender Matt Neal moved to pole in his Honda Civic.

With 10 minutes to go, Onslow-Cole - BMW now repaired - went quickest with 1m31.867s, then improved to 1m31.719s.

Jordan moved to second, then went on to a final flyer just before the chequered flag came out. He briefly moved to the top of the times with 1m31.703s, but Onslow-Cole was just a few car lengths back and snatched pole back with 1m31.615s.

Neal had a big slide at Paddock Hill Bend on his final effort, but the reigning champion's earlier time was good enough for third.

Rob Collard also made a late charge to make it two WSR BMWs in the top four.

Title contender Jason Plato will line up fifth. The MG driver had improved to fourth in the closing moments, but then spun at Paddock and was jumped by Collard while he sat in the gravel.

Adam Morgan was the top Toyota driver, bringing his Speedworks car to sixth.

Championship leader Gordon Shedden will only start seventh in his 45kg ballast-laden works Civic.

He just failed to make it through to start a final flyer as the flag came out, but would not have improved as he would have had to go through yellow flags for Plato's incident.

Another star of the session, in which the top 13 were covered by just one second, was Aaron Williamson. The former Ginetta racer will start eighth for his BTCC debut in Tony Gilham's S2000 Honda Civic.

Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Tom Onslow-Cole WSR BMW 1m31.615s 2. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Honda 1m31.703s + 0.088s 3. Matt Neal Honda 1m31.916s + 0.301s 4. Rob Collard WSR BMW 1m32.172s + 0.557s 5. Jason Plato MG 1m32.197s + 0.582s 6. Adam Morgan Speedworks Toyota 1m32.200s + 0.585s 7. Gordon Shedden Honda 1m32.223s + 0.608s 8. Aaron Williamson HARD Civic 1m32.352s + 0.737s 9. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 1m32.400s + 0.785s 10. Dave Newsham ES Vauxhall 1m32.422s + 0.807s 11. Aron Smith Motorbase Ford 1m32.444s + 0.829s 12. Nick Foster WSR BMW 1m32.544s + 0.929s 13. Will Bratt Austin Audi 1m32.608s + 0.993s 14. Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota 1m32.622s + 1.007s 15. Lea Wood Wood Vauxhall 1m32.799s + 1.184s 16. Rob Austin Austin Audi 1m32.832s + 1.217s 17. Daniel Welch Welch Proton 1m32.965s + 1.350s 18. Ollie Jackson AmD Volkswagen 1m32.994s + 1.379s 19. Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda 1m33.082s + 1.467s 20. Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford 1m33.534s + 1.919s 21. Andy Neate MG 1m33.673s + 2.058s 22. Chris James ES Vauxhall 1m35.466s + 3.851s 23. Tony Hughes Speedworks Toyota 1m36.156s + 4.541s 24. Tony Gilham Thorney Vauxhall - - 
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Series BTCC
Drivers James Cole
Teams BTC Racing
Author Kevin Turner
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