Chilton Claims Maiden BTCC Pole

Arena team's Tom Chilton claimed his first British Touring Car Championship pole position at Thruxton today, in his first event of the season

Chilton Claims Maiden BTCC Pole

Twenty year old Chilton, who missed the first round at Donington Park three weeks ago, set the fastest time of qualifying for the first of three races tomorrow, with a time of one minute and 17.011 seconds.

"What a result," the young Briton said after the session. "I really didn't think I'd be this fast first time back. But this is a very ballsy circuit and I love driving on the edge.

But the Honda Civic driver downplayed his chances of winning tomorrow, stating: "Winning tomorrow will be tough because the high speeds take a lot out of the tyres over a race distance. The three races should be very exciting but also unpredictable."

Alongside Chilton, on the front row, will be former Champion Jason Plato in the SEAT, having set a time of 1:17.567 - half a second slower than Chilton.

Vauxhall rookie Colin Turkington will start third, having beaten fourth-placed Team Halfords' Dan Eaves by a mere one thousandth of a second.

Championship leaders Vauxhall's Yvan Muller and Team Halfords' Matt Neal, both carrying 'success ballast', were only fifth and sixth fastest respectively.

A disappointed Muller, who is the most successful BTCC driver around Thruxton in the past few years, said after qualifying: "Clearly there is a problem but we don't know what it is so fixing it for the races will be difficult. Obviously, the ballast we have doesn't help but we're still at a bit of a loss."

BTCC Round 2: Thruxton Qualifying Results

Pos Driver Team Laps Time 1. Tom Chilton Honda Civic Type-R 9 1:17.011 2. Jason Plato SEAT Toledo Cupra 11 1:17.567 + 0.556 3. Colin Turkington Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch 14 1:17.644 + 0.633 4. Dan Eaves Honda Integra 13 1:17.645 + 0.634 5. Yvan Muller Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch 15 1:17.812 + 0.801 6. Matt Neal Honda Integra 13 1:18.069 + 1.058 7. Gavin Smith Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch 14 1:18.294 + 1.283 8. Rob Collard MG ZS 10 1:18.376 + 1.365 9. James Pickford SEAT Toledo Cupra 16 1:18.520 + 1.509 10. Luke Hines SEAT Toledo Cupra 12 1:18.960 + 1.949 11. James Kaye Honda Civic Type-R 12 1:19.208 + 2.197 
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