Honda hit the front for feature race

Tom Kristensen and James Thompson will start round 20 of the British Touring Car Championship from the front row in their Honda Accords after setting the quickest times in first qualifying on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.

Honda hit the front for feature race

Poleman Kristensen was understandably happy.

"I like one-twos, as long as I'm ahead," said the Dane. "The car was pretty good, with a good compromise between traction and high-speed oversteer." Team boss Dick Bennetts said he was "very pleased," with his drivers. This was the first qualifying one-two for his successful West Surrey Racing outfit since 1989.

"We had one-twos in Formula 3, but we've been working hard, chipping away at small areas and it's a good reward, but the big points come at the end of the races."

With the series biggest Class B field to date, traffic was busy on the tight little Indy layout, but Kristensen found space to strut his stuff.

"I still got three clear laps," he said. "You need a bit of luck, but you still have to try to plan how you deal with the traffic, and though you may get held up because it's so short, you also get more laps. Anyway, we'll see this afternoon in the one-shot who's fastest. They can't complain about traffic then."

Hondas may be at the front today, but the battle for the title remains between Ford and Vauxhall and their drivers filled the next five places behind Thompson. Rickard Rydell, Yvan Muller and Jason Plato lead the way, while points leaders Anthony Reid and Alain Menu are seventh and sixth respectively.

Class B, on the other hand, has finally come alive at Brands, with nine cars on the grid and a real battle to be fastest. James Kaye is on the class pole for Honda and he's separated from his title rival Alan Morrison by Morrison's new Peugeot team mate Toni Ruokonen and Scottish teenager Gavin Pyper in the Alfa 156 - both of them series debutants.

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Brands BTCC preview: Fords on the brink

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