Matt Neal Tops Oulton Qualifying For Back-To-Back Pole Positions

Matt Neal claimed his second pole position in a row for the fourth Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship meeting of the season at Oulton Park.

The 30-minute qualifying session took place in much more admirable conditions to those in second practice earlier in the day, times almost dipping back into the 1m25s barrier.

Quickest in the wet, Neal was the pace-setter for much of the drier session in the Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type-R, bettered briefly by Andrew Jordan‘s BMW 125i.

Neal moved back ahead and continued to hold the advantage into the final five minutes, before a red flag was waved following a spin into the barriers for Matt Simpson‘s Honda at the exit of Druids.

On the crowded restart, Neal’s time of 1m26.151s proved good enough to confirm back-to-back Saturday pole positions, a feat he last achieved back in 2011’s opening two meetings.

His effort was 0.126s quicker than that of Jordan’s West Surrey Racing BMW, the latter claiming his best qualifying result since Thruxton 2014.

Third place went the way of Donington race winner Aiden Moffat, Colin Turkington planting his BMW fourth on the grid with his last tour of the circuit. Neal’s team-mate Shedden survived an off at Cascades to finish fifth, while Ashley Sutton was best of the Subaru Levorg GTs in sixth place.

Seventh went the way of Mat Jackson‘s Ford Focus ST, while Josh Cook and Maximum Motorsport remained top-10 contenders in eighth. Rob Collard ensured all three WSR BMWs will start race one in the top 10, finishing ninth ahead of top rookie, Senna Proctor (Vauxhall).

Championship leader Tom Ingram – carrying the maximum 75kg success ballast – could only manage 12th on the grid, while Jason Plato will start 18th for Team BMR after a spin at Cascades.

Martin Depper was another driver to reach the barriers, crashing his Motorbase Ford Focus ST heading out of Old Hall.

Photo: BTCC Media