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Silverstone BTCC: Plato leads MG one-two after qualifying

Plato leads MG one-two at SilverstoneJason Plato scored pole position for round 25 of the British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone on Saturday, beating Triple Eight MG team-mate Sam Tordoff by 0.009s around the point-and-squirt National Circuit.

In the opening stages, Plato held P1 with 58.406s to Tordoff's 58.456s, but they would get even closer on their second flyers, with Plato working down to 58.210s and Tordoff to a 58.219s.

"It's close, isn't it?" said Plato. "We have to turn this pace into race-winning performances now. We had a good run in practice, and the dry these MGs are quick. We just need to get through without problems."

Tordoff, who admitted his set-up was very similar to Plato's after going in different directions in practice, added: "I'm not sure where those nine-thousandths are in the lap! The car feels really good."

Dave Newsham will start third in his Speedworks Toyota, ahead of title contender Colin Turkington in the first of the WSR BMWs.

"I'm really pleased, it was a bit more than we were expecting," said Turkington. "Straightline speed isn't our strength but we have other strengths. As all year, it's been good in the slow corners and change of direction."

Frank Wrathall recovered to set the fifth-quickest time in his Dynojet Toyota after his first lap time, which was exactly the same as Newsham's, was removed for failing the ride-height test.

Jack Goff will start sixth in his Vauxhall Insignia, ahead of Adam Morgan (Toyota), Rob Collard (BMW), Matt Neal (Honda) and points leader Andrew Jordan.

Jordan's closest title rival, Gordon Shedden, was only 15th fastest in his Honda. Jordan said: "It was a really good, nice and neat lap.

"With the weight we've got on, it's great to be only a couple of hundredths off Matt. Shedden's behind us with less weight than me, so that's nice."

Pos Driver              Car                 Time        Gap   
 1. Jason Plato         MG                  58.210s
 2. Sam Tordoff         MG                  58.219s   +0.009s
 3. Dave Newsham        Speedworks Toyota   58.358s   +0.148s
 4. Colin Turkington    WSR BMW             58.598s   +0.388s
 5. Frank Wrathall      Dynojet Toyota      58.701s   +0.491s
 6. Jack Goff           Hard Vauxhall       58.749s   +0.539s
 7. Adam Morgan         Ciceley Toyota      58.750s   +0.540s
 8. Rob Collard         WSR BMW             58.788s   +0.578s
 9. Matt Neal           Honda               58.797s   +0.587s
10. Andrew Jordan       Eurotech Honda      58.821s   +0.611s
11. Andy Neate          IP Tech Chevrolet   58.834s   +0.624s
12. Mat Jackson         Motorbase Ford      58.885s   +0.675s
13. Aron Smith          Motorbase Ford      58.900s   +0.690s
14. Daniel Welch        Welch Proton        58.926s   +0.716s
15. Gordon Shedden      Honda               58.932s   +0.722s
16. Howard Fuller       Hard Volkswagen     58.988s   +0.778s
17. Will Bratt          Austin Audi         59.014s   +0.804s
18. Jeff Smith          Eurotech Honda      59.099s   +0.889s
19. Rob Austin          Austin Audi         59.104s   +0.894s
20. Ollie Jackson       Speedworks Toyota   59.182s   +0.972s
21. Tom Onslow-Cole     Motorbase Ford      59.266s   +1.056s
22. Nick Foster         WSR BMW             59.591s   +1.281s
23. Aiden Moffat        Hard Volkswagen     59.807s   +1.597s
24. Lea Wood            Wood Vauxhall       59.845s   +1.635s
25. Liam Griffin        Motorbase Ford      1m00.080s +1.870s
26. Warren Scott        BMR Volkswagen

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