FIFTH POLE IN A ROW FOR RACING SILVERLINE
Racing Silverline's Jason Plato soared to the top of the timesheets in today's qualifying session for race one of tomorrow's HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship at Rockingham with a best time of 1:24.087s. The session had looked to favour team-mate, Mat Jackson, who was on great form during the second practice session and dominated for much of qualifying, however it was Jason who grabbed the last minute honours, with Mat just being pipped to an all Chevrolet front row by Airwaves BMW driver, Jonathan Adam.
Commenting on his weekend so far, Jason enthused, "We used the practice sessions to validate the pace of the car. In FP2, I tried running a slightly different set up, but it didn't give any gain, in fact, probably more the opposite. For qualifying we went back to the original set up from the first practice, with a couple of little tweaks and some scrubbed tyres, which made the car feel great."
And on his pole and hopes for the first race Jason added, "The car was fantastic; I managed to get a really good lap. Pole is important here, although I have a BMW beside me which is a shame. That being said, we're in the best place we can be and can't do any better. Initially I expected Mat would take the pole, being lighter we worked out that's worth two or three tenths a lap. He held it for a bit, and I knew the pressure was on.
I don't know what tomorrow will bring - the BMW will be very strong in race trim, so it's important to get the best start."
In his sister Lacetti, Mat was a little frustrated to finish 0.213s adrift of pole position, which will see him line up 3rd on tomorrow's race one grid, having thought pole would be his. A quick decision to change for a new set of tyres in the final moments gave the Lacetti too much grip, resulting in less pace and leaving Mat unable to defend his pole.
A two-time race winner at Rockingham in 2008, Mat will be looking to add to his impressive run of six back-to-back podiums tomorrow.
ITV4 will be showing live coverage of all three races from 11:00 this Sunday 20th September.