Tom Chilton will start the opening race of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship meeting at Rockingham from pole position after setting the pace in qualifying at the Northamptonshire circuit.

Chilton posted his best time of 1min 23.36secs early on in the session - easily beating Jason Plato's qualifying lap record - and remained unbeaten through the remainder 30 minutes.

Matt Neal managed to get within three tenths of a second of Chilton's quickest lap but had to settle for second on the grid for Honda Racing, while Alex MacDowall was a hugely impressive third for Chevrolet - outpacing team-mate Jason Plato in the process.

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Tom Onslow-Cole in the second LPG-powered Ford Focus was fourth quickest and one of the few drivers to set his fastest time at the end of the session. The vast majority of drivers had lost the chance for a quick lap late on when Andy Neate went off into the gravel exiting Gracelands and brought out the yellow flags, although the West Surrey Racing man was eventually able to get back on track and the yellow flags were withdrawn for the closing seconds.

Notably, the gas-powered Focus was easily the quickest car through the speed traps.

Plato was fifth quickest in the second Chevrolet with James Nash sixth in his first outing in the Triple Eight-run Vauxhall Vectra, with Gordon Shedden, Andrew Jordan, Steven Kane and Paul O'Neill rounding out the top ten.

Matt Hamilton and Shaun Hollamby both failed to set a time during the session, Hamilton being stripped of his times after his car failed to restart on the weighbridge and Hollamby suffering mechanical issues on the AmD Milltek Volkswagen.