Plato Takes Snetterton Pole

Just as his rivals predicted Jason Plato took pole for round 16 of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship. Plato took his RML prepared Chevrolet Lacetti which also had new sponsership from matchthedeal.com. Lining up on the front row of...

Just as his rivals predicted Jason Plato took pole for round 16 of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship.

Plato took his RML prepared Chevrolet Lacetti which also had new sponsership from matchthedeal.com. Lining up on the front row of the grid will be championship leader Colin Turkington.

Despite carry maximum ballast Plato still expecs Turkington to behis main challenger particularly off of the line with his rear wheel drive and said "Colin's BMW has rear-wheel-drive and we all know what that can do off the start. He will be in front of me pretty quickly, unless we tangle."

Turkington was delighted with the front row of the grid with the full ballast and also helps his BMW power off the line will give him the advantage and said "The front row is just perfect for me - my car's carrying maximum success ballast but we're still right up there. Sure I hope I can use my car's traction off the start to good advantage but I don't think anyone will get away around here. I'm sure Jason will be right in my slipstream when we head onto that long back straight"

Third will be the 2002/04 champion James Thompson in his Team Dynamics Honda Civic just head of the two Vauxhalls with youngster Andrew Jordan qualifying just ahead of reigning double BTCC champion Fabrizio Giovanardi.

Matt Neal should have been right there with his team mates but unfortunately for the early points leader had his best time disqualified for corner cutting and lines up ninth.

Neal admits that a decent result in will be hard to come by particularly in the first race and said "I think we will struggle for a podium in the first race because of our grid position, but we are going to see what we can do in the first race and get the weight off and go from there. Obviously you do not get any points for today. Snetterton seems to promote pretty rough racing and tomorrow's another day - it is not going to be easy, but none of the races this season have been easy so I will go into it open minded."

Neal also went on to say that Turkington was in a perfect position to extend his championship lead and added "Colin is going to drive his own race and I am going to drive mine and we will see where we end up and I think that goes for the rest of the season. But he does seem to be very competitive at the moment."

In sixth will be Airways BMW driver Jonny Adam who put in a good display, less happy however will be Rob Collard in the other Airways BMW who will line up all the way in 14th. Collard was unhappy with the car but expects to fight back and said "I had a problem with the rear of my car - it's something I'd noticed as soon as I went out and it is quite a fundamental problem. I tried setting a decent time with it but the car was just getting worse and worse and to be quite honest I should have parked it as I wasn't going to get any faster with it. It was a problem I felt we had in second free practice but it didn't really show its full potential until the team put on new tyres in qualifying and then it was undriveable. But I am sure the car the team will rectify the problem and that the car will be fine tomorrow. I just need a good start and to battle my way through and having seen how well Jonathan has gone in qualifying I'm confident I can make up places pretty rapidly - particularly considering how strong the BMW is off the start line."

In seventh will be the second RML Team Silvrline Chevrolet of Mat Jackson who will be helping to score some good points after his ill affected race weekend last time out at Croft. There was less good news for the third RML Chevrolet of James Nash who suffered engine failure and failed to put in a single lap in qualifying despite showing good promise in free practice 2 running in the top 10.

In 8th will be the sole Teamsunshine.co.uk Honda Integra of Paul O'Neill after team mate Martyn Bell had a freak accident on holiday and injured his knee forcing him to miss this weekend.

Rounding out the top 10 is Stephen Jelley in the second Team RAC BMW. Jelley perhaps took it carefully after a huge crash testing less than a month ago particularly when it started raining during the first 10minutes of the session which contributed to his crash in testing.

Just outside the top 10 will be Harry Vaulkhard in his new bamboo engineering Lacetti, which is sporting a new livery of white and lime after the switch in teams from Tempus Sport although many of the personnel remain the same.

Thankfully after recent rumours Team Cartridge World will line up with two Seat Leons on the grid however as reported Dan Eaves drive was under threat and indeed ex Team Dynamics driver Gordon Shedden replaces the 2005 front runner, and will line up in 13th just behind normal Clyde Valley driver Adam Jones.

Dave Pinkney will line up 15th in the second Team Dynamics Honda Civic just ahead of the only Team Aon Focus of Tom Chilton as once again Alan Morrison will not be racing and another driver has not been found.

Meanwhile the final two people on the grid with qualifying times are John George who starts just ahead of Martin Johnson. With once again Liam McMillan not making it on the grid after having engine issues.

As normal there will be 3 races so be sure to return to see all the drama and reaction from the weekend and to see if Colin Turkington and extend his championship lead.

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About this article
Series BTCC
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Alan Morrison , Tom Chilton , Dan Eaves , Paul O'Neill , James Thompson , Jason Plato , Colin Turkington , Matt Neal , Adam Jones , Gordon Shedden , Andrew Jordan , Harry Vaulkhard , Martin Johnson , Dave Pinkney , James Nash , Mat Jackson , Jonathan Adam , Rob Collard , Stephen Jelley