Team Aon claimed the front-row – labelling it a “white and blue wash” – at Donington Park, giving their drivers' title hopes an unexpected boost having struggled for pace on the practice session before qualifying.

The half-hour session went from wet to dry conditions and the LPG Focuses were fastest in both conditions, finally setting their best times in an eight minute blast at the end of the session after a red flag for BMW's Andy Neate spinning at Redgate.

“Job’s a good’un!” beamed Tom Onslow-Cole. “To qualify P2 with success ballast in the car is a great result, as we were a little bit worried after seeing the times of some of our rivals in practice this morning. This puts us in a good position for tomorrow, it is going to be a tough day tomorrow and the weather could spring some surprises, but at least we are starting at the right end.”

However, pole fell to Tom Chilton. “That was the hardest pole position of my life!” he said. “It started damp, but we kept, pushing, pushing and I managed to push so hard that on my fastest lap I actually clipped the tyre wall on the inside of the chicane, which has left a big mark on my car! But I literally couldn’t have gone any faster, I used every millimetre of the track and so I’m delighted that it was good enough for P1!”

Earlier in the day the team had struggled for pace (or intentionally hid their pace), finishing the first practice fifth and twelth before improving to third and fifth in the final session before the grid was set.