Tarquini takes Oulton Feature pole

Gabriele Tarquini will start round 22 of the British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park from pole position after winning a session-long battle with Anthony Reid for the honour of starting right at the front.

Tarquini takes Oulton Feature pole

"The car was flying," said Tarquini of his JAS Motorsport-run Honda Accord. "That's the best set-up I have found all year."

Nevertheless, the 1994 champion felt he could have gone faster, since his best new-tyre run was ruined when the session was stopped temporarily. His pole lap was set on used tyres.

Reid too was disappointed that he hadn't gone faster.

"The traffic was terrible, I just never got a clear run," said the Scot, who found his car transformed following an overnight re-build made necessary by a big testing shunt at Druids. "We found something that may even have caused the crash, and it's a different car. I'm really looking forward to the One-Shot Showdown."

Tarquini and Reid were a full half second clear of the pack and their problems with the red-flag (deployed after Tom Kristensen's Honda slid into the barriers at Knickerbrook) and traffic were echoed and amplified through the field, though not by Vincent Radermecker, who was very pleased with third place.

"I haven't had a win this season, so I'm going for it tomorrow," said the Belgian.

Reid's team mates - and title rivals - Rickard Rydell and Alain Menu bore their 40kg success ballast burdens well in fourth and sixth places, but Vauxhall's championship dark horses Yvan Muller and Jason Plato have not pulled out the front-row times they needed to revive their hopes. The Vectra men both lost their best laps to the red flag and will line up seventh and eighth in tomorrow's feature race.

A bumper class B field is headed by Peugeot support driver Dan Eaves, with the Coventry marque's title favourite Alan Morrison a close second. Series returnee Simon Harrison (a former Peugeot works driver) was third quickest, his GR Motorsport Ford Focus just six-thousandths away from Morrison.

"I'm very pleased with the Focus," said Harrison. "To be that close to the points leader first time out is impressive and the car can take great credit from that."

Morrison's biggest rival James Kaye had a nightmare session, stopping his Honda Accord with an engine problem half way round his first lap.



1 Gabriele Tarquini Honda Accord 1m22.463s
2 Anthony Reid Ford Mondeo 1m22.485s
3 Vincent Radermecker Vauxhall Vectra 1m23.017s
4 Rickard Rydell Ford Mondeo 1m23.050s
5 James Thompson Honda Accord 1m23.080s
6 Alain Menu Ford Mondeo 1m23.125s
7 Yvan Muller Vauxhall Vectra 1m23.270s
8 Jason Plato Vauxhall Vectra 1m23.275s
9 Matt Neal Nissan Primera 1m23.722s
10 Tom Kristensen Honda Accord 1m24.065s
(class B)
11 Dan Eaves Peugeot 306 1m32.205s
12 Alan Morrison Peugeot 306 1m32.290s
13 Simon Harrison Ford Focus 1m32.296s
14 Gavin Pyper Alfa Romeo 156 1m32.444s
15 Rob Collard Nissan Primera 1m33.986s
16 Gareth Howell Ford Focus 1m34.057s
17 Tom Ferrier Alfa Romeo 156 1m34.280s
18 Marc Nordon Nissan Primera 1m34.388s
19 Nick James Honda Integra R 1m35.454s
20 Andy Middlehurst Nissan Primera 1m36.035s
21 Mark Lemmer Honda Accord 3m42.884s
22 James Kaye Honda Accord no time

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