Jackson qualifies on pole

Mat Jackson has qualified on pole position for the first of Sunday's three HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship races at the Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire.

Jackson achieved the pole with a best lap time of 1 minute 00.259 seconds in his Racing Silverline Chevrolet Lacetti - a BTCC qualifying record around the short Silverstone National circuit.

The in-form Jackson, winner of the BTCC's most recent race at Knockhill two weeks ago, said: "It's my first pole for some time but, like Jason [Plato], I'm really starting to feel at one with the car now and this circuit really plays to its strengths.

“I'm also sure it will have great pace over a race distance so hopefully I can have three very strong races again tomorrow."

Second fastest was the Airwaves BMW of Robert Collard and he was delighted with second on the grid after a poor run of results of late that have seen him slump to sixth in the standings.

"I had a nightmare time at Knockhill two weeks ago and I was not a good person to be around for a few days after,” he added. “This is just what I needed and with the BMW's great record off the line then maybe there's a chance of getting into the lead."

Meanwhile third, with by far the best qualifying performance of his young career so far, was Bedfordshire's James Nash in his RML Chevrolet who will surely be looking for strong results in front of his home crowd tomorrow.

Jason Plato, who some have tipped to win all three races tomorrow, was fourth quickest in his Racing Silverline-Chevrolet. Plato a distant third in the Drivers' championship knows that Silverstone could be his final chance to realistically haul himself back into title contention.

Championship leader Colin Turkington qualified fifth in his Team RAC BMW, a considerable effort considering his car is laden with the maximum success ballast of 45kgs. Closest championship rival Fabrizio Giovanardi was eighth in his VX Racing Vauxhall Vectra - with Turkington's two team-mates Stephen Jelley and Anthony Reid around him in sixth and ninth.

"I'm happy with that,” said Turkington. “Fifth and three places ahead of Fabrizio is perfect. Hopefully, my team-mates can take a few points out of him tomorrow just as his team-mates did to me at Knockhill."

Meanwhile, three-time F1 Grand Prix winner Johnny Herbert will start his first BTCC race from 17th on the grid, having run into suspension problems with his Team Dynamics Honda Civic.

"It's a shame as we were up in the top ten in morning practice and getting quicker all the time,” Herbert noted. “But my big strength has always been consistent fast lap times in race situations so hopefully tomorrow I can make up lots of places but this is a tough championship."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mat Jackson (GBR) RML Chevrolet Lacetti
BMW returns to the BTCC with WSR
Ashley Sutton - Subaru Team BMR [pic credit BTCC]
Jack Goff, Eurotech Racing, [Credit: BTCC media]
Matt Simpson, Team Dynamics, [Credit: BTCC Media]
Rob Austin, Handy Motorsport [Credit: Handy Motorsport]
Andrew Jordan, WSR Pirtek BMW [Credit:Jakob Ebrey]
Mat Jackson, Motorbase Performance, Shredded Wheat [Credit: Motorbase]
Gordon Shedden, Matt Neal, Halfords Yuasa Racing [Credit: Halfords Yuasa]
Ant Whorton-Eales,, BTCC [Credit:]
Mat Jackson, Motorbase Performance, Shredded Wheat [Credit: Motorbase]
Senna Proctor, Power Maxed Racing, BTCC [Credit: BTCC media]

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