Tom Onslow-Cole took pole for WSR BMW ahead of the BTCC finale at Brands Hatch
But Championship leader Shedden only seventh
By William Esler. Last Updated: 20/10/12 4:31pm
Tom Onslow-Cole stormed to pole position at Brands Hatch to give WSR BMW their first pole position of the season.
The 25-year-old went to the top of the timesheets with five minutes remaining but as the checkered flag fell, it was Championship outsider Andrew Jordan who went quickest.
Onslow-Cole though was on a flyer behind him pipping the Honda driver by just eight hundredths of a second to top the times.
Jordan is one of four drivers still with a mathematical chance of taking the title, as is Honda Racing's Matt Neal who qualified third. The reigning champion is in desperate need of a strong weekend after failing to score in any of the three races at Silverstone, and has already publicly written off his title chances.
Rob Collard showed BMW's are looking strong on the Grand Prix layout at the Kent venue with fourth, just ahead of MG's Jason Plato, another Championship contender, who finished the session in the gravel after losing the rear of the car at Paddock Hill Bend.
A storming drive from rookie Adam Morgan was good enough for sixth in the Speedworks Toyota, ahead of Championship leader Gordon Shedden - who was running with maximum ballast of 45kgs.
Aaron Williamson impressed on his BTCC debut with Tony Gilham's Team HARD qualifying in eighth, much to the delight of his mechanics who surrounded the car on his return to the pits in celebration.
The session did not pass of smoothly however, with a number of incidents interrupting the running. Chris James, who has been at the centre of many incidents during his two years in the series, brought out the red flags with a clumsy spin at Surtees.
At the restart Frank Wrathall covered the first section of track in a haze as smoke bellowed from the exhaust of his Toyota bringing his session to an end.
Dave Newsham then caused a brief yellow flag period when he spun out after braking with two wheels on the grass, before Andy Neate did little to improve his reputation as a pay driver collecting a bollard and spinning on the pit-straight - before driving the wrong way down the track to the pit-lane. The MG driver finishing the session 21st quickest.
BTCC Qualifying - Round 28 - Brands Hatch
1. Tom Onslow-Cole - BMW - 1:31.615
2. Andrew Jordan - Honda - +0.088
3. Matt Neal - Honda - +0.301
4. Rob Collard - BMW - +0.557
5. Jason Plato - MG - +0.582
6. Adam Morgan - Toyota - +0.585
7. Gordon Shedden - Honda - +0.608
8. Aaron Williamson - Honda - +0.737
9. Mat Jackson - Ford - +0.785
10. Dave Newsham - Vauxhall - +0.807