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Neal on pole at Silverstone

Matt Neal takes a vital pole ahead of the BTCC finale at Silverstone

Matt Neal has taken a vital pole position ahead of the final rounds of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone.

The championship leader went into the session carrying maximum ballast on his car but was still able to emerge on top of the pile as he edged Mat Jackson out of top spot. Jackson's hopes of then fighting back to reclaim pole were ended when Tony Hughes went off at Copse and brought out the yellow flags.

Behind the top two, Gordon Shedden was third quickest ahead of James Nash - despite the Triple Eight man suffering the after-effects of a cold - with Alex MacDowall and Tom Chilton rounding out the top six.

Defending champion Jason Plato was seventh quickest in his normally-aspirated Chevrolet despite trying to benefit from a tow from the Tech-Speed Cruze of Paul O'Neill.

Andy Neate, Tom Onslow-Cole and Frank Wrathall rounded out the top ten, with former champion James Thompson 15th on his return to the series and the NGTC-engined BMW of Tony Gilham in 22nd.

The new Thorney Motorsport Vauxhall Insignia failed to turn any laps after a clutch issue.

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