Qualifying: Thompson fastest

James Thompson emerged on top after an intense and closely fought session to claim pole position for the first of today's British Touring Car Championship races at Snetterton

Qualifying: Thompson fastest

The works Vauxhall driver waited until near the end of the session before setting his fastest time of 1m12.297s, which was 0.143s better than Honda's Matt Neal could managed. Tom Chilton will start third in the second works Honda, his best ever qualifying result in touring cars.

"Obviously I'm very pleased to be on pole, especially with 30kg of success ballast," said Thompson. " We spent all day yesterday working on race set-up, so we're confident that the car can go better on race pace."

Thompson played a waiting game in the early running, as team-mate Paul O'Neill set the pace at the start, although he eventually wound up fifth fastest. MG's Colin Turkington also had a spell at the top of the timesheets, but dropped to fourth.

It was a tough session for championship leader Yvan Muller, who could only set the seventh fastest time. With his major title rival on pole, the Frenchman will have his work cut out in today's races to prevent his once secure points lead slipping even further, although Thompson is taking nothing for granted just yet. "It's all very well beating Yvan in qualifying, but I need to beat him in the races," he said.

Carl Breeze was the fastest of the Independent runners in ninth. Luke Hines won the Production class pole, edging Mark Fullalove and Michael Bentwood.

James Thompson Vauxhall 1m12.297s
Matt Neal Honda 1m12.440s
Tom Chilton Honda 1m12.604s
Colin Turkington MG 1m12.717s
Paul O'Neill Vauxhall 1m12.746s
Warren Hughes MG 1m12.859s

shares
comments
Muller prepares for Thompson onslaught

Previous article

Muller prepares for Thompson onslaught

Next article

Snetterton 1: O'Neill comes through

Snetterton 1: O'Neill comes through
Load comments
The making of the BTCC's newest superstar Plus

The making of the BTCC's newest superstar

Ash Sutton is on the verge of being crowned a three-time British Touring Car Champion; he seems to have it all. But life hasn't always been straightforward for this superstar of touring cars, as Marcus Simmons has been finding out

BTCC
Oct 21, 2021
The green light shining for the BTCC's hybrid future Plus

The green light shining for the BTCC's hybrid future

The Cosworth Electronics-developed BTCC hybrid system made its public debut in the most recent round at Silverstone. It's simple, but could significantly change the series' technical challenges for both the drivers and the teams

BTCC
Oct 9, 2021
The restored BSCC battler back in its family's hands after 50 years Plus

The restored BSCC battler back in its family's hands after 50 years

The Imps of George Bevan became famous in British Saloon Car Championship competition during the early 1970s. Thanks to the efforts of a small band of enthusiasts, including Bevan's grandson Jonathan, one of the ex-Bill McGovern title winners has recently returned to the race track

Historics
Sep 30, 2021
The increasingly varied CV behind a new BTCC title challenger Plus

The increasingly varied CV behind a new BTCC title challenger

A driver with limited funds behind him, it’s been a tough road to the top of the British Touring Car Championship for Jake Hill. Now he’s a title contender, accomplished historic racer and in-demand coach. It’s a great life for this self-confessed motorsport junkie

BTCC
Aug 26, 2021
The outright tin-top wins achieved by a forgotten tin-top great Plus

The outright tin-top wins achieved by a forgotten tin-top great

Already established as a formidable force in the British Saloon Car Championship, the Triumph Dolomite became a legend in 1977 when Tony Dron's Broadspeed machine frequently embarrassed the mighty Capris

BTCC
May 18, 2021
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