Knockhill: Series qualifying report

PLATO ON POLE POSITION AT KNOCKHILL BUT SCOTTISH DRIVERS RUN HIM CLOSE Jason Plato has qualified on pole position on the grid for the first of tomorrows three HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship races at the Knockhill circuit in ...

PLATO ON POLE POSITION AT KNOCKHILL BUT SCOTTISH DRIVERS RUN HIM CLOSE

Jason Plato has qualified on pole position on the grid for the first of tomorrows three HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship races at the Knockhill circuit in Scotland.

Plato, driving his Racing Silverline Chevrolet, set a best lap of 53.370s to achieve pole his third of the season and score a bonus point. He will surely see tomorrow as a possible chance to get himself back into title contention after losing touch with the leaders at Snetterton two weeks ago.

Former Champion Plato, from Oxford who has an unrivalled previous six wins at Knockhill, said: Ive said before its win or bust from now on. Its my only way back and even then it requires the others to make a bit of a mess of it. While its still possible Ill never give up, but I expect three very hard races tomorrow.

Indeed, starting behind him in second and third and eager to please their home crowd will be two Scottish drivers Gordon Shedden (Cartridge World SEAT) and Jonathan Adam (Airwaves BMW).

Sheddens second place on the grid also marks the first-ever front row qualifying position for his team run by fellow Scot, Glaswegian Colin Neill.

The Dalgety Bay racer said: Its a great result were a one-car team this weekend and to be second to Jason Plato and the might and experience of the RML team that runs his car is no disgrace.

Adam, aged 24 from Kinghorn and in his first season in the BTCC, added: Im pretty happy with that, but maybe it could have been better had I not gone of the road early in the session. Whether I can make the BMWs rear-wheel-drive pay off the start I dont know its pretty narrow here and the run to the first corner is quite short. I just want three good races.

Fourth fastest was championship leader Colin Turkington in his Team RAC BMW and with closest rival Fabrizio Giovanardi, the reigning champion, qualifying his Vauxhall Vectra off the pace in 11th position, the Northern Irishman will sense an opportunity to take a real grip on the title race.

Matt Neal, seventh on the grid, will also be hopeful of closing back up to Giovanardi after dropping behind his team-mate in the standings at Snetterton. And Neal needs a decent set of results if hes to prevent Plato, now just nine points behind, from catching him for third in the table.

Tomorrow's three races will be shown live tomorrow on the ITV4 TV channel during a mammoth broadcast from 11.30am-6.00pm.

-credit: btcc

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Series BTCC
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Jason Plato , Colin Turkington , Matt Neal , Gordon Shedden , Jonathan Adam