Pole For Neal In Honda Yuasa Racing Front Row Lockout

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Matt Neal scored another pole position at Croft (Photo Credit:

Matt Neal took another pole position for Honda at Croft under leaden skies.

With the weather uncertain for the half an hour session, the leading cars were quick to get out and start setting competitive times. Initially, it looked as if the S2000 cars could be favoured thanks to their ability to get tyre temperature quickly, but in the end the new NGTC came to the fore once again.

It seemed for a moment that there could be a shock result as Rob Austin, returning after missing Oulton Park two weeks ago, briefly set the fastest time. But for the rest of the session, pole position was contested between Jason Plato, Gordon Shedden, Matt Neal and Andrew Jordan, with all improving their times in quick succession.

It was a challenging session for the MG cars. After looking quick in practice, Plato could only manage fifth fastest, before stopping on circuit in the last few moments of qualifying. Andy Neate survived a quick spin to finish an encouraging ninth.

Frank Wrathall starred once again in his Dynojet Toyota to qualify a strong fourth, whilst fellow Toyota driver and firm fan favourite Paul O'Neill was eighteenth on his return to the series. O'Neill takes over the driving duties from Tony Hughes in the Speedworks machine this weekend, but mechanical gremlins in practice limited his track time.

Sunny In caught out numerous cars in the session with Neate, Neal, Morgan and Shedden all suffering big moments or spins at some point. Jeff Smith was unluckiest of all, as he made slight contact with the barriers after touching the wet grass at Sunny Out just as the session finished.

Despite recent attempts to equalise cars, it still appears as if the NGTC Honda remains the most complete package on the grid. Neal will be joined on the front row by fellow Honda driver Andrew Jordan while Neal’s teammate – the championship leader – Gordon Shedden continuing his strong form in lining up third.

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