AMD driver Newsham will be starting the opening round of the British Touring Car Championship from 20th place on the grid tomorrow.

Newsham clocked a time of 48.936 in his Ford Focus ST Mk III for the Thurrock-based team to finish 0.708 seconds adrift of pole sitter Andrew Jordan on Brands Hatch's Indy Circuit Jordan, 24, began the defence of his BTCC title by claiming pole position with a quickest lap of 48.228 seconds in his Honda to pip Jason Plato at the chequered flag.

Plato, driving an MG, had to settled for second with a time just 0.012secs slower than Jordan, with Colin Turkington (BMW) snatching third in the final seconds of qualifying.

Just 0.093s separated the top four, with Matt Neal taking fourth spot ahead of Honda team-mate Gordon Sheddon.

Tom Ingram marked his BTCC debut by claiming sixth place on the starting grid for Sunday's race, the young Toyota driver recording a fastest lap of 48.404s at the Kent circuit.