Paul O'Neill claimed his first ever BTCC Production Class pole position at Brands Hatch today. The Liverpool-based racer, brother of pop-diva Melanie C, made the best of a drying track in a session that saw cars going quicker lap-by-lap - final grid positions being settled by drivers' final laps in the half-hour session.

Of the title challengers, Simon Harrison recovered from mechanical problems in morning qualifying at Brands to be third quickest, while Kames Kaye was sixth in his Barwell Motorsport Honda Accord. Harrison is five points clear of his rival and looks the more likely to emerge champion at the end of tomorrow.

With the top nine runners covered by less than seven-tenths of a second, tomorrow's two races round the Kent venue's tight 'Indy' circuit should be as close as ever.

BTCC Production Class, Brands Hatch:
1 Paul O'Neill Peugeot 306 52.053secs
2 Simon Graves Honda Accord 52.183secs
3 Simon Harrison Peugeot 306 52.343secs
4 Gavin Pyper Alfa Romeo 156 52.434secs
5 Mat Jackson Ford Focus 52.479secs
6 James Kaye Honda Accord 52.513secs
7 Gareth Howell Ford Focus 52.572secs
8 Rob Collard Renault Clio 52.577secs
9 Roger Moen Peugeot 306 52.688secs
10 Dave Allen Honda Accord 53.172secs
11 Richard Meins Ford Focus 53.330secs
12 Colin Blair Alfa Romeo 156 53.559secs
13 Annie Templton Peugeot 306 56.134secs
14 John B&Q Honda Integra 57.238secs
15 Steven Wood Proton Satria GTi 57.238secs