Matt Hammond maintained his record of being the man to beat in qualifying after securing a second pole position of the Quaife MINI CHALLENGE Trophy season at Snetterton.

The EXCELR8 Motorsport driver – who has the best average qualifying of the campaign so far – was able to break his own qualifying record around the longest circuit on the schedule to head the 29 cars that were able to take to the track for the 15 minute session.

Hammond would spent the latter part of the session with a comfortable advantage at the front and would ultimately set a best of 2:19.457s to leave him nearly a quarter of a second quicker than anyone else.

“I wanted to get my head back in the game this weekend and I could see the lap times coming down,” he said. “I wanted to beat my time from last year, which I managed to do, and now it’s roll on race one.

“The car is going well but we have some quick boys behind us on the grid and you never know round here as one small mistake can lead to four or five cars coming past you – so we’ll see how we get on.”

Hammond’s closest challenger in the session would prove to be former team-mate Nicky Taylor, who grabbed his second front row start of the campaign.

The Graves Motorsport driver left it late in the session to set what would prove to be his fastest time and that leaves him well placed going into race one at his home circuit as he looks to secure a first victory of the season.

“Second on the grid is really good and I’m feeling confident as I’ve done quicker times than Matt has done during testing so I know we have the pace,” he said. “This is my local circuit so I know it like the back of my hand, and I’ve also got lots of support this weekend from my family and some of my work mates.

“Nelson [King] has been grabbing the wins this season and I’ve been pushing him on, but the circuits towards the end of the year are more suited to me and I want to push for a victory myself – particularly at home.”

Tom Ovenden’s recent run of strong form continued as he set the third best time, with points leader King having to settle for fourth as he bids to strengthen his advantage at the front of the field.

Joe Wiggin – who suffered a disastrous start to his season at the circuit last year – will head off from fifth spot and shares row three with Alex Solley, with the top eight rounded out by Charlie Mann and top rookie racer Jack Byrne.

Elsewhere on the grid, Louie Capozzoli – who has jumped up the championship order after being reinstated into the results of the opening race at Croft earlier in the season – was the only driver to lose a lap to track limits as he qualified in eleventh spot.

Nathan Edwards was the only driver not to take part in the session after an electrical issue consigned him to the garage – with work ongoing to resolve the problem ahead of the opening race at 15:10.