Chilton takes pole at Rockingham

Tom Chilton took his first British Touring Car Championship pole position of the year with a superb effort in qualifying at Rockingham

Chilton takes pole at Rockingham

Chilton took his Arena Ford Focus to the top of the timesheets after seven minutes of the half-hour session with a lap of 1m23.363s, and remained there as time ticked away to secure the sixth pole of his career.

"I don't think I could do that again," said Chilton, who significantly took the first BTCC pole for an LPG-powered car. "Before I went out, I said that if I got everything perfect, I could do a 23.3, and that's exactly what I did."

Honda driver Matt Neal was second fastest, 0.297s slower than Chilton, while series rookie Alex MacDowall was a revelation, putting his Chevrolet third on the grid in what is only his second BTCC weekend.

Tom Onslow-Cole made it two Arena Fords in the top four while Jason Plato's Chevrolet and the returning James Nash's Triple 8 Vauxhall completed the third row.

Thruxton polesitter Gordon Shedden was seventh quickest in his Honda as Andrew Jordan (Eurotech Vauxhall), Steven Kane (Motorbase BMW) and Paul O'Neill (Tech-Speed Honda) completed the top 10.

O'Neill went off at Gracelands during the session, but regained the track without hitting anything. His team-mate John George had a half spin at the same corner a minute later, while Andy Neate's WSR BMW went off for good into the gravel there in the final minute.

That brought out the waved yellow flags and prevented anybody from improving their times on their final runs.

Pos Driver Car Time Gap 1. Tom Chilton Ford 1m23.363s 2. Matt Neal Honda 1m23.660s + 0.297s 3. Alex MacDowall Chevrolet 1m23.782s + 0.419s 4. Tom Onslow-Cole Ford 1m23.798s + 0.435s 5. Jason Plato Chevrolet 1m23.834s + 0.471s 6. James Nash Vauxhall 1m24.245s + 0.882s 7. Gordon Shedden Honda 1m24.263s + 0.900s 8. Andrew Jordan Vauxhall 1m24.404s + 1.041s 9. Steven Kane BMW 1m24.417s + 1.054s 10. Paul O'Neill Honda 1m24.503s + 1.140s 11. Mat Jackson BMW 1m24.544s + 1.181s 12. Rob Collard BMW 1m24.751s + 1.388s 13. David Pinkney Vauxhall 1m24.928s + 1.565s 14. Tom Boardman SEAT 1m25.207s + 1.844s 15. Andy Neate BMW 1m25.400s + 2.037s 16. John George Honda 1m25.570s + 2.207s 17. Martin Johnson Vauxhall 1m26.156s + 2.793s 18. Arthur Forster BMW 1m27.059s + 3.696s 19. Matt Hamilton Honda 20. Shaun Hollamby Volkswagen 
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