Tarquini takes Feature Race pole

Gabriele Tarquini took his second pole of the year for Honda in the first qualifying session at Donington Park, hotly-pursued by Ford's Anthony Reid and independent star Matt Neal in the Team Dynamics Nissan.

Tarquini takes Feature Race pole

"My car was really good," said Tarquini, "and normally it is better in the races than qualifying, so I'm very happy."

JAS Motorsport's Italian star reckons he also has a race-advantage because he is carrying no success ballast this weekend, saying: "With the two hairpins, I think that's more important here than at some circuits."

Both Reid and Neal are also ballast-free this weekend, and the Scot is confident that he can stop Tarquini converting pole into a win.

"I could finally make the breakthrough this weekend," said the Scot, who is the only frontrunner who has yet to win a race this year. Rickard Rydell [20kg] is the first of the ballasted runners in fourth, followed - neatly in weight-order - by James Thompson [20kg], Tom Kristensen [30kg], Alain Menu [40kg and Jason Plato [40kg], who was ahead of his weight-free team mates Yvan Muller and Vincent Radermecker.

For the first time this year, Neal faces the prospect of a real challenge in the Michelin Cup for Independents, but his new rival David Leslie [in the PRO Motorsport Primera driven till now by Colin Blair] had his session ruined by a transmission problem and didn't run a flying lap. Class B is hotting up, and James Kaye's Honda Accord beat Alan Morrison's Peugeot 306 to the pole in a straight fight for the first time this season. Newcomer Lee Linford was third fastest in a second Touring Car VIP Club Peugeot.



1 Gabriele Tarquini Honda Accord 1m36.276s
2 Anthony Reid Ford Mondeo 1m36.308s
3 Matt Neal Nissan Primera 1m36.395s
4 Rickard Rydell Ford Mondeo 1m36.492s
5 James Thompson Honda Accord 1m36.596s
6 Tom Kristensen Honda Accord 1m36.744s
7 Alain Menu Ford Mondeo 1m36.978s
8 Jason Plato Vauxhall Vectra 1m37.206s
9 Yvan Muller Vauxhall Vectra 1m37.379s
10 Vincent Radermecker Vauxhall Vectra 1m37.584s
11 James Kaye Honda Accord 1m46.985s
12 Alan Morrison Peugeot 306 1m47.316s
13 Lee Linford Peugeot 306 1m48.225s
14 Rob Collard Nissan Primera 1m48.676s
15 Mark Lemmer Honda Integra R 1m48.979s
16 Marc Nordon Nissan Primera 1m49.806s
17 Nick James Honda Integra R 1m49.892s
18 David Leslie Nissan Primera no time

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