Team Halfords enjoyed a solid performance in qualifying for the latest rounds of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship as Tom Chilton and Gordon Shedden both qualified inside the top six at Oulton Park.

Chilton proved to be the quicker of the pair during the qualifying session at the Cheshire venue as he secured his place on the second row of the grid with the third fastest time, although he was nearly three-tenths of a second behind second-fastest Darren Turner.

However, with only the diesel-powered SEAT Leons ahead, Chilton wasn't too disappointed with how the day had gone.

"I'm really happy and I'm the first 'non-turbo' which is good," he said. "The car was good all day and I was happy with it on old tyres, now we just need to be consistent on race day. To be honest, I struggled to get that consistency today. I think the SEATs could make mistakes on race day and their tyres could go off if it's warm. I should really have had three podiums last time out at Snetterton and could have done if I hadn't had the problem in race two, so I want to be on the podium tomorrow."

Team-mate Shedden was only a tenth of a second slower in the sister car although it meant sixth place on the grid due to the close nature of the times, and the Scot said he would look to try and provide a challenge to the diesels on race day.

"I'm only a tenth or so from the petrol pole, which is next to nothing," he said. "There are a few things we need to resolve with the car but they are just minor things. We did a good job but all it takes is for you to clip a kerb and that vital tenth of a second has gone.

"The turbo diesels are again at an advantage as they have the power on the uphill sections. They probably aren't as strong under the brakes at the hairpin compared to us, but when they come out of it, the power they have is phenomenal. It's the same out of Hizzies with the long drag up the hill; it just motors away.

"Don't get me wrong, they are doing a bloody good job with the car, but it's just so quick. However, I don't think they will be as dominant as they were at Snetterton and there are a few of us who will fancy our chances."

 

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