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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