BMW's Andy Priaulx admits his Brands Hatch pole came as a surprise but says converting it into a win will not be easy.

Priaulx's pole-position, clinched yesterday during the first qualifying session of the year, sent shockwaves down the BTCC paddock - 13 years since claiming his last pole in the championship.

The West Surrey Racing driver had featured well in the practice running - taking his BMW 1 Series to sixth in FP1 and second in FP2 - and translated his promising pace to beat the on-form BMR Volkswagen's.

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The 40-year olds last foray in touring car racing - a two year stint in the DTM series for BMW - didn't go according to plan and says being given a competitive car, coupled with the expertise of WSR, has helped his cause immensely.

In order for Priaulx to win, the factory BMW driver will to fend off the blisteringly fast BMR Volkswagen's behind him led by Aron Smith, who joins him on the front row on the front row of the grid.

"As I said, expectation is a really dangerous thing in motorsport," Priaulx told "I'm just really happy it went well and I felt very comfortable in the car right from the beginning, not just from today but right from the first test.

"It's nice to be back into the rhythm in car that's competitive. I haven't been in an environment where the team and car are both competitive for a while, so that's great me for me."

A lengthy red flag did look to have helped Priaulx's run to pole-position when the session faced a lengthy delay just after he jumped to the top of the timesheets. The Guernesyman, however, when asked if he felt he gained a benefit from the stoppage, clarified that it also disrupted his rhythm.

"No I don't believe the red flag helped me. We all had ten good minutes at to post another quick lap at the end," Priaulx continued.

"If anything I was in a good rhythm before the red flag and I didn't manage to take that into the final ten-minutes.

"We tried something on the tyre combination which didn't quite work out. I was expecting to need to go faster. I think the track may have slightly changed as well in last few minutes; it maybe didn't grip up to how I expected.

"On Sunday I'm going to have to earn it, if I can earn it I can win it. If not then I'll try again another day."