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Newsham shocks with Brands Hatch pole

31 March 2012

Dave Newsham repeated his feat of topping the times on media day to grab pole for the opening round of the new Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch.

The Team ES Racing.com driver set a time of 48.483secs which proved to be unbeatable for the remainder of the field – which came as a relief to the former STR man after a late off-track excursion left him biting his nails in the pitlane for the closing minutes.

Mat Neal was second quickest for Honda with the new Civic ahead of the turbo-powered BMW of Rob Collard, with Andrew Jordan fourth for Pirtek Racing. Jordan however was left fuming at the end of the session when his final flying lap was ruined by Newsham's slowing team-mate Chris James going through Graham Hill Bend.

Tom Onslow-Cole was fifth quickest in the second of the eBay BMWs while the top six was completed by the MG of Jason Plato; the double champion producing an impressive performance given the car hadn't tested before arriving at Brands Hatch.

Rob Austin, Frank Wrathall, Gordon Shedden and Nick Foster rounded out the top ten, with Shedden finally able to set a representative time after issues in both practice sessions.

John Thorne missed qualifying after his accident in practice with his team working to repair the Vauxhall Insignia for race day while technical issues mean Dan Welch failed to set a representative lap time.


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