Motorbase Performance's Mat Jackson has maintained his current reign of invincibility after surging to his third consecutive British Touring Car Championship pole position at Brands Hatch.

The Ford Focus ST completely obliterated the existing pole record by an almost staggering six-tenths with a 1 minute 30.685 second lap around the Grand Prix layout.

In fact, everyone down to Power Maxed Racing's Dave Newsham in twelfth all dipped under Jason Plato's previous pole position record while the top-17 runners could only be separated by just 0.992's.

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Reigning champion Colin Turkington, along with WIX Racing's Adam Morgan, had initially taken charge of the 30 minute shootout but Jackson - who hadn't featured that prominently during practice - began to reveal his hand early in the running after setting the first sub 31 second time of the weekend.

As the rest of the leading runners scrambled to replenish their ammunition for one final sequence of runs, Jackson looked to be improving on each previous best with effortless ease.

The order altered significantly as the seconds ticked away but it was Team BMR's Aron Smith who launched the most significant attack on Jackson's time.

Smith had originally popped up into second position but the Volkswagen CC driver's time was disallowed before going even faster on his next run.

Smith's effort was good to deny the Mercedes A-Class of Morgan a front row starting slot, despite the WIX driver having briefly featured at the top of the times.

Behind Morgan, and significantly for the complexion of the title race, championship leader Gordon Shedden crucially qualified his Honda Civic Type-R ahead of all of his title rivals.

However, the Team Dynamics driver isn't quite out of harms way with Turkington and Jason Plato ending the session directly behind the Scot in fifth and sixth.

Acting as Shedden's rear gunner, Honda team mate Matt Neal will keep a watching brief in eighth behind the Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis of Tom Ingram in seventh.

At one stage, West Surrey Racing's Andy Priaulx had looked to be a sensible candidate for pole position, but the triple world champion eventually fell to ninth ahead of Josh Cook in tenth.