Snetterton: Series qualifying report

CUMBRIAN YOUNGSTER MACDOWALL MAKES BTCC HISTORY IN SNETTERTON QUALIFYING Alex MacDowall has become the youngest driver in history to qualify on pole position for a round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. The Carlisle...

CUMBRIAN YOUNGSTER MACDOWALL MAKES BTCC HISTORY IN SNETTERTON QUALIFYING

Alex MacDowall has become the youngest driver in history to qualify on pole position for a round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

The Carlisle youngster, aged just 19 years and 197 days, mastered wet condition to qualify on pole at Snetterton, Norfolk in a time of 1m19.332s - 0.094s faster than experienced team-mate Jason Plato who was second fastest.

Their performance also meant a front-row lock-out for the Silverline Chevrolet team whose car, the Cruze, had never qualified higher than third until today.

"Being the youngest makes it extra special, to be part of BTCC history, but I'm already thinking about tomorrow," said MacDowall (pictured above). "I don't mind what the weather throws at me tomorrow. I just want to make sure I stay in front at the first bend and then get on with it."

Plato's second place surely gives him an opportunity to get on terms with championship leader, Honda Racing Team's Matt Neal who was back in seventh, both their cars carrying substantial success ballast. Neal leads Plato by eight points at the top of the table going into tomorrow's three races with each win earning 15 points.

Oxford-based Plato added: "It's an opportunity of course but we're only just starting the second half of the season. The main thing at this stage is to stay in the game. Credit to young Alex though - he's done the business in tricky conditions. The lad's done well!"

Worcestershire's Neal commented on his seventh place: "That's slightly disappointing but not a disaster and if it's fully wet tomorrow I don't mind. We didn't have chance to put the full wet set-up on our car today so I know we can be a lot faster in these conditions. Let's see what we get tomorrow."

Qualifying third fastest was Tom Chilton in his Team Aon Ford Focus, but the session was a disaster for team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole who was relegated to the bottom of the times after his car failed a mandatory ride-height check.

The top six were completed by Airwaves BMW's Mat Jackson, Neal's team-mate Gordon Shedden, currently third in the standings behind Plato, and Croft winner just prior to the recent break Andrew Jordan in his Pirtek Racing Vauxhall Vectra.

-source: btcc.net

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Series BTCC
Drivers Tom Chilton , Jason Plato , Matt Neal , Tom Onslow-Cole , Gordon Shedden , Andrew Jordan , Mat Jackson , Alex MacDowall