Frank Wrathall claims first British Touring Car Championship pole at Snetterton
|By Kevin Turner
||Saturday, August 11th 2012, 15:05 GMT
Frank Wrathall took his first British Touring Car Championship pole position at Snetterton on Saturday afternoon.
Works MG driver Jason Plato set the early pace from title leader Matt Neal's works Honda Civic, before Dave Newsham (ES Racing Vauxhall Vectra) slotted in between the arch rivals.
Wrathall then jumped to pole with a 1m58.039s in his Dynojet Toyota Avensis, but Plato responded almost immediately with laps of 1m57.610s and 1m57.611s, and looked set to secure top spot.
However, Wrathall took his Dynojet Toyota Avensis round in 1m57.595s to snatch pole back. Despite returning to the circuit in the closing moments, Plato had to settle for second after a small off on his final run.
"I was confident going into this weekend and I thought this could be where we could really show what we're capable of," said Wrathall.
The result is the first BTCC pole for a Toyota since Julian Bailey started first for the works team at Knockhill in 1993.
Newsham improved late on but could not usurp Plato from the runner-up spot, while Andrew Jordan left it late to take fourth with 1m58.133s in his Eurotech NGTC Civic.
Adam Morgan and Dan Welch continued their fine form this weekend to complete the top six, and force Neal back to row four.
Lea Wood was the top S2000 runner in his Vectra in eighth, just ahead of Tom Onslow-Cole, who had his early times disallowed for not respecting the track limits in his WSR BMW.
Gordon Shedden did make it out for the session after his fire in morning practice, but his NGTC Honda Civic ground to a halt almost immediately, briefly bringing out the red flags.
Mat Jackson qualified Motorbase's brand new NGTC Ford Focus in 16th for its debut.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota 1m57.595s
2. Jason Plato MG 1m57.610s + 0.015s
3. Dave Newsham ES Vauxhall 1m57.649s + 0.054s
4. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Honda 1m58.133s + 0.538s
5. Adam Morgan Speedworks Toyota 1m58.205s + 0.610s
6. Daniel Welch Welch Proton 1m58.263s + 0.668s
7. Matt Neal Honda 1m58.552s + 0.957s
8. Lea Wood Central Vauxhall 1m58.699s + 1.104s
9. Tom Onslow-Cole WSR BMW 1m58.881s + 1.286s
10. Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda 1m59.215s + 1.620s
11. Aron Smith Motorbase Ford 1m59.401s + 1.806s
12. Rob Collard WSR BMW 1m59.421s + 1.826s
13. Andy Neate MG 1m59.961s + 2.366s
14. Rob Austin Austin Audi 1m59.963s + 2.368s
15. Chris James ES Vauxhall 2m00.005s + 2.410s
16. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 2m00.142s + 2.547s
17. Nick Foster WSR BMW 2m00.208s + 2.613s
18. Ollie Jackson AmD Volkswagen 2m00.778s + 3.183s
19. Tony Gilham Thorney Vauxhall 2m01.056s + 3.461s
20. Robb Holland Gilham Honda 2m01.112s + 3.517s
21. Tony Hughes Speedworks Toyota 2m01.695s + 4.100s
22. Gordon Shedden Honda