Subaru's James Cole admits his surprise in securing a first ever British Touring Car Championship pole position, as tyre strategy pays off for Team BMR driver at Rockingham.

The Adrian Flux Subaru Racing driver stunned the field after sending his Levorg to the top of the timesheets in the dying minutes of the 30-minute shootout and subsequently hanging on to claim a maiden pole ahead of Eurotech Racing's Jack Goff.

On a circuit which hasn't usually tended to favour the RWD contingent, Cole's Saturday success also marks a first ever pole position for a RWD car around the 1.94 mile Rockingham layout.

Having negotiated both practice sessions with old rubber, Cole reaped the rewards of keeping his powder dry until qualifying, where the 29-year old was able to better his previous best 2017 starting position by five-places.

"I didn’t expect that!" Cole told Crash.net. "We knew we had the pace, really from Snetterton. We’ve shown our pace has been improving. We’ve consistently been there or thereabouts.

"We had our plan of what we were trying to do in FP1 and FP2. New tyres are so important around here. And the grip you get from your tyres is so important.

"We decided to save the three sets of tyres all for qualifying. We didn’t want to use them in FP1 or FP2. I understand the benefits of doing that. The idea was to have three runs and go for it."

Aside from his maiden pole, Cole's form has been on the up since Snetterton, which has translated in the Subaru driver finishing fifth in each of his last four races.

Indeed, Cole is looking to improve yet further on his current rich vein of form as tyre strategy will once again play a pivotal role during tomorrow's three race.

"For one reason or another, it hasn’t quite clicked so far and hopefully we’re starting to show. Tomorrow, we’re in a really good position. I’ve got two FWD cars and then my team mate," Cole continued.

"We’re in a good position but I’ve just got to be sensible, keep my head down and have a nice clean first race.

"If we can have a podium, let alone anything else, would be good. We seem to be consistently having fifth places finishes at the moment. We’ve just got to take it step-by-step. If I can improve on that tomorrow, fantastic.

"I’ve got to get through the first couple of laps and see where we are. Tyres go off so quickly around here. We’ve got our tactics and our plan so let’s see what we can do."