Matt Neal secures second straight pole at Oulton Park
Matt Neal secured back-to-back pole positions for the first time since the 2011 BTCC season after topping the times in qualifying at Oulton Park.
Having led the way at Thruxton last time out, the Honda driver emerged from a session long battle with the BMW of Andrew Jordan as the two practice pace-setters became embroiled in their own private fight for top spot.
Jordan had topped the times early in the session before Neal then moved ahead, with the BMW then reclaiming top spot.
Neal would then go faster on his fifth lap of the session and, despite a brief scare when it appeared his Civic wouldn’t restart after undergoing technical checks, would stay out top to the finish.
That was despite a quick five minute charge at the end of the session after an off for Matt Simpson at Druids saw the red flags deployed – with Jordan unable to move ahead despite going fastest of all in the final sector on his final lap.
Jordan has to settle for second spot, with the Mercedes of Aiden Moffat slotting into third place and Colin Turkington taking fourth; the WSR man being one of the few drivers to improve after the stoppage after a yellow flag caused by Martin Depper going off saw a number of people forced to ease off in sector one.
Gordon Shedden took fifth spot in the second Halfords-backed Honda, with Ash Sutton once again the best of the Subaru drivers in sixth.
The Fords of Mat Jackson and Josh Cook rounded out the top eight, with Rob Collard and Senna Proctor close behind.
Points leader Tom Ingram was twelfth in his ballast-laden Toyota, with Jason Plato down in 18th spot.
In total, the top 22 drivers were covered by under a second.