Oulton BTCC: Neal takes qualifying pole for second meeting in a row

Three-time champion Matt Neal will start the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Oulton Park from pole position for the second meeting in succession

Oulton BTCC: Neal takes qualifying pole for second meeting in a row

The Team Dynamics Honda Civic Type R driver backed up his Thruxton performance two weeks ago with another fastest time. He clocked a 1m26.151s lap during the 30-minute timed session, which was interrupted late on by a red flag.

Neal will start ahead of the WSR BMW 125i M Sport of Andrew Jordan, while the second row will be shared between Aiden Moffat (Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class) and Colin Turkington (WSR BMW 125i M Sport).

Neal, who had topped the timesheets in the damp second free practice session, said he was delighted with the performance but was wary about the rear-wheel-drive BMWs so close to him on the starting line-up.

"The car felt great all the way through," said Neal, whose last back-to-back poles were in 2011.

"It is going to be tough with the rear-wheel-drive cars beside us, and I still think I will be third into the first corner because there is quite a drag to Old Hall, but it has given us a fighting chance.

"We have been quick in the wet here and quick in the dry, so the car is the complete package. I am very optimistic."

The session had been stopped when Matt Simpson, in a sister Honda Civic to Neal, crashed coming out of Druids corner and made contact with the barrier on the inside of the circuit. That left all runners with a five-minute blast at the end to improve times.

Turkington's run to fourth spot came on the very last lap, as the WSR team was searching for a cure to a misfire that had blighted his running.

"We didn't really get to the bottom of it," explained the Northern Irishman.

"It was misfiring at the top end of every gear, so I was just shifting up early to around it."

Behind Turkington, reigning champion Gordon Shedden, carrying 66kg of success ballast, was fifth in his Team Dynamics Honda Civic Type R, despite a small off at Cascades early on in the session.

Ash Sutton was the leading Team BMR Subaru again in sixth position. All of the Subarus and Fords in the championship have been granted an increase in turbo boost allowance by series technical bosses after a technical waiver ahead of the meeting.

That helped Motorbase Performance driver Mat Jackson to seventh spot, ahead of Josh Cook (Maximum Motorsport Ford Focus) and Rob Collard (WSR BMW 125i M Sport).

Senna Proctor initially qualified 10th in his Power Maxed Vauxhall Astra, but was one of six drivers stripped of their fastest times after the session and will now start 16th.

Championship leader Tom Ingram, who is carrying the maximum 75kg of success ballast, will start Sunday's first race from 11th in the Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis.

QUALIFYING RESULT:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Matt Neal Dynamics/Honda Honda 1m26.151s -
2 Andrew Jordan WSR BMW 1m26.277s 0.126s
3 Aiden Moffat Laser Tools Racing Mercedes 1m26.400s 0.249s
4 Colin Turkington WSR BMW 1m26.609s 0.458s
5 Gordon Shedden Dynamics/Honda Honda 1m26.612s 0.461s
6 Ash Sutton Team BMR Subaru 1m26.662s 0.511s
7 Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 1m26.700s 0.549s
8 Josh Cook Maximum Motorsport Ford 1m26.722s 0.571s
9 Rob Collard WSR BMW 1m26.738s 0.587s
10 Jake Hill Team Hard Volkswagen 1m26.801s 0.650s
11 Tom Ingram Speedworks Motorsport Toyota 1m26.819s 0.668s
12 Jack Goff Eurotech Racing Honda 1m26.840s 0.689s
13 Michael Epps Team Hard Volkswagen 1m26.879s 0.728s
14 Rob Austin Handy Motorsport Toyota 1m26.942s 0.791s
15 Matt Simpson Dynamics/Honda Honda 1m26.963s 0.812s
16 Senna Proctor Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall 1m26.970s 0.819s
17 Jason Plato Team BMR Subaru 1m26.974s 0.823s
18 Jeff Smith Eurotech Racing Honda 1m27.045s 0.894s
19 Ant Whorton-Eales AmD Tuning Audi 1m27.131s 0.980s
20 Adam Morgan Ciceley Racing Mercedes 1m27.147s 0.996s
21 James Cole Team BMR Subaru 1m27.153s 1.002s
22 Ollie Jackson AmD Tuning Audi 1m27.156s 1.005s
23 Stephen Jelley Team Parker Racing Ford 1m27.168s 1.017s
24 Luke Davenport Motorbase Ford 1m27.240s 1.089s
25 Aron Taylor-Smith Triple Eight/MG MG 1m27.266s 1.115s
26 Daniel Lloyd Triple Eight/MG MG 1m27.332s 1.181s
27 Will Burns Team Hard Volkswagen 1m27.393s 1.242s
28 Dave Newsham BTC Racing Chevrolet 1m27.439s 1.288s
29 Chris Smiley BTC Racing Chevrolet 1m27.602s 1.451s
30 Tom Chilton Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall 1m27.616s 1.465s
31 Josh Price Team BMR Subaru 1m27.820s 1.669s
32 Martin Depper Motorbase Ford 1m27.948s 1.797s


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