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 
shares
comments
Muller Expects to Bounce Back

Previous article

Muller Expects to Bounce Back

Next article

Neal Wins 1 to Take BTCC Lead

Neal Wins 1 to Take BTCC Lead
Load comments

About this article

Series BTCC
Drivers Matt Neal
Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC Plus

Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC

It’s been a busy silly season in the BTCC since the chequered flag fell to end the 2020 campaign last November. While last year’s top two have stayed put, there’s plenty of talking points elsewhere, which should result in another fascinating year of tin-top action

BTCC
May 7, 2021
The giantkilling 'dad and lad' operation taking on the BTCC's best Plus

The giantkilling 'dad and lad' operation taking on the BTCC's best

The Lancashire squad of Ciceley Motorsport has been a BTCC race winner for several years with Adam Morgan and Mercedes. But the switch to WSR-built BMWs and addition of Tom Chilton as a true barometer for Morgan should see the team step up into title contention

BTCC
May 6, 2021
How a returning champion is feeling at home again in the BTCC Plus

How a returning champion is feeling at home again in the BTCC

After topping the times at the end of British Touring Car Championship pre-season testing, it feels like Gordon Shedden has never been away. But after plenty of changes behind the scenes, the three-time champion is bedding himself in to pick up where he left off

BTCC
May 5, 2021
Why a BTCC legend remains defiant at '97 not out' Plus

Why a BTCC legend remains defiant at '97 not out'

After a year of enforced absence from the British Touring Car Championship grid, Jason Plato is back and hungrier than ever. Despite stellar opposition and some familiar challenges, the two-time champion still has his eyes focused on the biggest prizes

BTCC
May 4, 2021
How Ingram's clean slate can end his BTCC title wait Plus

How Ingram's clean slate can end his BTCC title wait

After seven years together, Tom Ingram and Speedworks Motorsport have amicably split and gone down separate paths for the 2021 BTCC season. With engineer Spencer Aldridge joining him at the Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai squad, Ingram is confident he can challenge for titles from the off

BTCC
Apr 30, 2021
How the unlikely Capri-slaying Dolomite triumphed against adversary Plus

How the unlikely Capri-slaying Dolomite triumphed against adversary

The Dolomite Sprint was a potent giantkilling weapon during the 1970s in the British Saloon Car Championship, now known as the BTCC. Tin-top legend Andy Rouse explains how it became such a force

BTCC
Apr 25, 2021
The rollercoaster ride of West Surrey Racing's 40 years Plus

The rollercoaster ride of West Surrey Racing's 40 years

It’s four decades since one of UK motorsport’s most successful teams made its debut at Silverstone in British Formula 3. Now it’s top dog in the BTCC, time to blow out some candles with boss Dick Bennetts

BTCC
Mar 12, 2021
Why the BTCC elite should fear Shedden's return Plus

Why the BTCC elite should fear Shedden's return

OPINION: The British Touring Car Championship Lord taketh away Dan Cammish, then giveth Gordon Shedden. That means substituting what would have been a future champion with an all-time series great with a point to prove on his return

BTCC
Mar 11, 2021