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Chilton takes Knockhill pole

3 September 2011

Ford's new Global Ford Focus secured its maiden pole position in fine style after Tom Chilton posted the quickest time in qualifying at Knockhill.

The Team Aon driver broke Alex MacDowall's qualifying lap record during the session with a best time of 52.999secs as the field was finally able to benefit from some dry track time after rain hit both free practice sessions.

Chilton's time was good enough to see him fend off the challenge of Matt Neal, who produced an inspired performance to take second on the grid despite suffering the after-effects of the hand injury he picked up during a martial arts exam. The Honda man ended the session 0.202secs behind the Focus.

Third quickest, securing his best grid slot so far, was Frank Wrathall in the Dynojet Toyota Avensis as he matched the performance he showed in the earlier second practice session, while fellow NGTC runner Rob Austin also secured a personal best as he joined Wrathall on the second row of the grid.

Behind them, home favourite Gordon Shedden – who had earlier paced both practice sessions – had to settle for fifth place while defending champion Jason Plato was sixth, just ahead of current championship leader Mat Jackson.

MacDowall, Tom Onslow-Cole, and Rob Collard rounded out the top ten.

Despite the drier conditions, the session was still hit by no fewer than three red flags, with Andy Neate and Paul O'Neill both going off and John George grinding to a halt on track.


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