Honda tops charts again at Oulton BTCC

Neal beats BMW's Jordan in tense battle.

- Advertisement -

Honda proved the car to beat as Matt Neal took pole position for round 10 of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Oulton Park.

It was Neal’s second successive pole position in his Halfords Yuasa Racing Civic Type-R, who had previously not started from the front of the grid since 2012. And it was scored on a circuit thought to favour rear-wheel-drive cars.

Neal triumphed in a battle with the Pirtek Racing BMW 125i of Andrew Jordan, the pair swapping fastest times throughout the half-hour qualifying session at the Cheshire track. The Honda eventually set the mark with a 1 min 26.151sec lap, 93.01mph and just 0.126sec ahead of the BMW.

The session was then stopped following a heavy off for the Honda of Matt Simpson and the five minutes left after the restart was not long enough for Jordan to respond.

The second row for the race comprises the Laser Tools Mercedes A-Class of Aiden Moffat and Jordan’s BMW team-mate Colin Turkington, with the second Honda of reigning champion Gordon Shedden and the Subaru Levorg of Ashley Sutton next up.

Subaru’s varying fortunes

Sutton again proved the class of the four-strong Adrian Flux Subaru team, the next fastest Levorg of Jason Plato mired down in 18th spot. This was despite BTCC organisers taking the unprecedented step of monitoring and if necessary adjusting the boost levels of the Subaru and Ford entries throughout all of the day’s practice sessions, following complaints over a lack of straight-line speed for both types of car.

Ashley Sutton again proved by far the fastest Subaru runner. Photo: PSP Images

The monitoring certainly seemed to aid the Ford entries, with Matt Jackson’s Shredded Wheat Racing Motorbase Focus taking seventh grid spot, with the Maximum Motorsport example of Josh Cook alongside.

With work to do, meanwhile, is current championship leader Tom Ingram, his Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis only qualifying 12th on the 32-car grid, in which the first 22 entries were separated by less than one second.

The first of three 15-lap races takes place at 12.17p on Sunday. Check back to The Car Expert for a full report on the race day action.

Qualifying saw an upturn in fortune for Matt Jackson in the Ford Focus. Photo: PSP Images

- Advertisement -
Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.

Latest Expert Advice

Car finance: Negative equity and why it’s a problem

One of the big problems in car finance is negative equity, and it can get you into financial trouble. But what is negative equity and why is it a problem?

Fuel prices up for second month in a row

Filling up a typical 55-litre family car was nearly £2 more expensive by the end of July compared with the beginning of the month.

Latest Expert Ratings

Mini Electric

The Mini Electric has been praised for the way it drives, but criticised for its poor range compared to similarly-priced electric cars.

SEAT Mii Electric

The SEAT Mii Electric is one of the more affordable options in the electric car market, but its Euro NCAP safety rating is sub-par.

New Toyota Yaris goes on sale

The fourth-generation Toyota Yaris has now gone on sale in the UK and it’s available with a 0% APR finance deal.

Kia reveals updated Stonic with mild hybrid power

Kia has announced a range of upgrades to the Stonic crossover, with the key update being the introduction of a mild-hybrid powertrain.

High Court rejects Volkswagen appeal over emissions scandal

Volkswagen has lost an appeal in a landmark High Court ruling on the Dieselgate emissions-cheating scandal. # Volkswagen #VW #Dieselgate

Britain’s best-selling cars, July 2020

It was a pleasant change to see a significant improvement in the monthly new car registration report. Here are the top ten best-sellers.

More from The Car Expert

Expert Advice

Award-winning, independent and impartial advice on buying, financing, owning and running a car

Expert Ratings

We analyse and aggregate dozens of media reviews for each new car into an overall Expert Rating

Expert News

All the most important new car launches, model updates, car reviews and industry news

Expert Partners

Our new space for commercial partners to bring you special offers on their products and services

What are your thoughts? Let us know below.