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Smith flies to maiden BTCC pole at Brands Hatch decider

Saturday, September 29 2018

Brett Smith claimed his maiden Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship pole position on the legendary Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit this afternoon (Saturday) ahead of tomrrow's season finale. 

Smith's effort of 1m30.537s around the 2.4-mile circuit meant he topped a dominant session for the Honda Civic Type R, in which the Japanese manufacturer claimed the top five positions. 

In guiding his his WIX Racing with Eurotech machine to pole position, Smith emulates his father Jeff Smith who qualified fastest on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit last year. This also means that the Eurotech squad has topped four Brands Hatch qualifying sessions in a row, after table topping performances for Jack Goff this time last year, and at the start of 2018.

Dan Cammish can condsider himself unlucky to have missed out on the top spot, after falling just 0.043s shy of Smith's best effort in his Honda-backed Halfords Yuasa Racing Civic.

BTCC legend Matt Neal completed the top-three, with Goff and BTC Norlin Racing's Dan Lloyd cementing Honda's top-five lockout. 

Senna Proctor, who won on the Indy circuit back in April, was the first Honda runner in sixth, whilst Sam Tordoff's pink Ford Focus RS was the leading entry for the local Motorbase team, placing his Team GardX Racing-branded entry in seventh. 

And what of the championship contenders, each of whom entered the session laden with a hefty load of success ballast? Well, outsider Tom Chilton fared the best in his Focus RS by setting the 15th fastest time, just over half-a-second shy of pole position. 

Championship leader Colin Turkington could only manage 17th position in the heaviest car on the grid, with Tom Ingram, his chief pursuer, placing 19th. 

This sets up a blockbuster final day of the BTCC's 60th anniversary season, with all of the championship contenders needing to fight their way through the pack. At the front, Smith and Cammish will both harbour ambitions of becoming the 17th race-winner of what has already been a record-breaking year for the BTCC. 

Brands Hatch BTCC qualifying top-10

1, Brett Smith, WIX Racing with Eurotech, Honda Civic Type R, 1m30.537s
2, Dan Cammish, Halfords Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic Type R, +0.043s
3, Matt Neal, Halfords Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic Type R, +0.188s
4, Jack Goff, WIX Racing with Eurotech, Honda Civic Type R, +0.236s
5, Dan Lloyd, BTC Norlin Racing, Honda Civic Type R, +0.238s
6, Senna Proctor, Power Maxed TAG Racing, Vauxhall Astra, +0.310s
7, Sam Tordoff, Team GardX Racing with Motorbase, Ford Focus RS, +0.349s
8, Chris Smiley, BTC Norlin Racing, Honda Civic Type R, +0.358s
9, Aiden Moffat, Laser Tools Racing, Mercedes Benz A-Class, +0.378s
10, Ashley Sutton, Adrian Flux Subaru Racing, Subaru Levorg GT, +0.382s 

Selected others

15, Tom Chilton, Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher, Ford Focus RS, +0.588s
17, Colin Turkinton, Team BMW, BMW 125i M Sport, +0.627s
19, Tom Ingram, Speedworks Motorsport, Toyota Avensis, +0.687s

Tickets for Sunday's three-race programme will be available on the gate for £34 with FREE entry for under-13s.