Team BMR's Aron Smith gets his first ever British Touring Car Championship pole-position after a frenetic red flag strewn qualifying at Thruxton.

The session, however, was marred by two separate on track incidents, which both caused major delays - creating a chaotic and at times confusing run to the flag.

Jason Plato had laid down the early gauntlet but just as he set the provisional pole position time, the session was immediately stopped after Mike Bushell and Simon Belcher collided in-between turns one and two.

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The pair touched as Bushell - who was exiting the pit lane - made contact with the unsighted Belcher whilst the Handy Motorsports driver was on a hot lap. That led to a vicious shunt where both cars careered heavily into the Armco barrier.

Belcher emerged relatively unscathed from his wrecked Toyota Avensis but it is thought Bushell has received an injury to his left leg.

Once the stricken cars had been extracted and the barrier was repaired, it was the Honda's of Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden who grabbed the initiative away from Plato.

The Civic Type-R's worked in tandem as the pair both seemingly dipped under the 1 minute 17 second barrier. That wasn't to be the case, though, as the issue of tracks limits reared its head as Shedden saw his pole lap taken away from him.

Before the times could tumble any further, a second red flag disrupted the flow of the session as the marshals were called upon to remove Hunter Abbott's Audi A4 from the scene of his accident.

That left the field with seven minutes left to play, leading to an enthrallingly chaotic climax to the running.

With each lap that merited pole-position, each effort was just as quickly erased for a number of drivers, due to the race stewards deeming the track limits to have been broken.

By the end of it, Volkswagen's Smith prevailed ahead of Shedden and Neal in second and third.

Mercedes' Adam Morgan was another driver to have his pole worthy effort taken away from him. The WIX Racing driver wound up fourth ahead of WSR's Andy Priaulx in fifth.

Surprisingly so, Plato - despite setting the pace in FP1 - could only manage sixth position. His qualifying woes may well have been a legacy of his shunt at the end of first practice, which meant he failed to set a time in FP2.

MG's Jack Goff carried the flag for Triple Eight in seventh position as Josh Cook, Colin Turkington and Rob Collard completed the top-ten.