Andy Priaulx has marked his return to the BTCC with a triumphant pole-position at Brands Hatch following an epic qualifying session.

Priaulx magnificently fended off the ultra-fast BMR Volkswagen's after setting a 48.411 second lap right before the session was interrupted by an untimely red flag - caused by Martin Depper's Eurotech Honda disposing its left front wheel on the entry into the Graham Hill bend.

That resulting stoppage set up a grandstand sprint finish to the session meaning that track position played a pivotal role in the outcome of the front-row - advantage Priaulx from having already his pole-lap in the bank.

Aron Smith came closest to spoiling Priaulx's party when the Irishman's best effort clocked in just seven-hundredths off the BMW's pole-time. Despite missing the top-spot, Smith still out-qualified his illustrious championship winning team mates on the first time of asking.

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Inevitably, Jason Plato and Colin Turkington didn't lurk far behind on the second row of the grid.

Both of their effort's - set within a barely believable one-thousandth of each other - still leave the pair dangerously poised to spoil Priaulx's homecoming tomorrow.

Rob Collard completed the top five for West Surrey Racing ensuring tomorrow's first race will be a straight fight between BMW and Volkswagen at the head of the field.

Triple Eight's Jack Goff began his MG career in fine fashion after out-qualifying his former championship winning team mate Andrew Jordan in sixth.

The top MG machine was directly followed by the Honda Civic Type-R of Gordon Shedden in eighth position on the Team Dynamics challenger's maiden qualifying run.

Jordan was unable to match his team mate's pace in tenth behind the Speedworks Avensis of Tom Ingram in ninth.

Infiniti's Derek Palmer qualified a very credible 24th after the Q50 has steadily progressed on it's BTCC debut.