Despite Weight, Neal on Pole

Despite having one of the heaviest cars in the field, Matt Neal has put his Honda Intergra on pole position for the first of tomorrow's three BTCC races at Brands Hatch

Despite Weight, Neal on Pole

Lapping the short 'Indy' circuit in 49.312, Neal will be joined on the front row by Team Halfords teammate and current Championship leader Dan Eaves, who set a best time of 49.544.

Both Neal and Eaves are carrying the most success ballast, further amplifying the team's achievement in qualifying.

"I'm really pleased with this," Neal said. "To be the top two with a lot of ballast shows just how good this car is. But I'm experienced enough to know that tomorrow could be a very different story. There's no doubt we're in strong shape, but the racing around here can be manic. I expect three very tough races."

Eaves was promoted to the front row despite setting the third fastest time - second fastest was Arena Motorsports' Tom Chilton, who set a time just eight thousandths of a second slower than Neal. But Chilton will be demoted six places due to a penalty from the previous round at Thruxton.

The second row of the grid will be taken by Yvan Muller and Gavin Smith. But Muller, who holds the record around the Brands Indy track from 2001, was not quite happy with his third place.

"I'm not really that happy with third," the Frechman said. "My place is better than we expected with the ballast we are carrying, but the Hondas are heavier and they are still ahead."

Rob Collard will start from fifth position, alongside Colin Turkington in sixth. Jason Plato, in eighth, will start alongside Chilton on the fourth row.

Pos  Driver            Make                        Time           Laps
 1.  Matt Neal         Honda Integra               49.312           19
 2.  Tom Chilton       Honda Civic Type-R          49.320 + 0.008   24
 3.  Dan Eaves         Honda Integra               49.544 + 0.232   22
 4.  Yvan Muller       Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch  49.642 + 0.330   22
 5.  Gavin Smith       Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch  49.699 + 0.387   22
 6.  Rob Collard       MG ZS                       49.726 + 0.414   26
 7.  Colin Turkington  Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch  49.733 + 0.421   19
 8.  Jason Plato       SEAT Toledo Cupra           49.752 + 0.440   18
 9.  Luke Hines        SEAT Toledo Cupra           49.788 + 0.476   19
10.  James Pickford    SEAT Toledo Cupra           49.871 + 0.559   21
11.  James Kaye        Honda Civic Type-R          50.050 + 0.738   13
12.  Ian Curley        Lexus IS200                 52.172 + 2.860   16
13.  Mark Proctor      Vauxhall Astra Coupe        55.268 + 5.956    4
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