Donington BTCC: Jason Plato grabs pole, Gordon Shedden second
|By Kevin Turner||Saturday, April 19th 2014, 15:26 GMT|
Jason Plato took pole position for the first British Touring Car race at Donington Park.
The top spot changed several times in the initial flurry, with Plato leading the way after the first runs with 1m09.460s in his Triple Eight MG6.
Like most, Plato failed to improve on his later run as the track got dirty with people running off track, but nobody was able to better his early mark.
"It wasn't a perfect lap - I made a mistake at Redgate, but the rest of the lap was pretty sweet," said Plato.
Gordon Shedden did improve on his second run, but stayed second with 1m09.591s in the new Honda Civic Tourer.
Sam Tordoff made it two MGs in the top three, just ahead of Colin Turkington's WSR BMW.
After his rapid pace in free practice, Aron Smith spent much of the session behind BMR VW team-mate Alain Menu, but jumped the double champion in the final moments to secure fifth.
Menu felt a tenth was lost with traffic at the Cranar Curves on his fastest lap, which was enough to yield sixth.
Championship leader Andrew Jordan was next in his Eurotech Honda Civic, carrying 45kg of success ballast.
Jack Goff completed BMR's good day with eighth in the fastest Vauxhall Insignia.
Matt Neal was ninth in his Civic Tourer, while former British F3 champion Marc Hynes continued his improvement in form by completing the top 10.
Fabrizio Giovanardi made it seven BTCC champions in the top 11, and one second covered the top 16.
Adam Morgan's Mercedes, which had been in the top five early on, had its times disallowed with less than 10 minutes of the session to go after failing the rideheight test.
The team worked on the car and Morgan returned to the track, but could only manage 17th after a mistake at Redgate on his final lap.
Follow the BTCC and WTCC races, Auto GP race two and the WEC season opener as they happen on Race Centre Live from 11:30am UK time on Sunday April 20
Pos Driver Car Time Gap 1. Jason Plato MG 1m09.460s 2. Gordon Shedden Honda 1m09.591s +0.131s 3. Sam Tordoff MG 1m09.696s +0.236s 4. Colin Turkington WSR BMW 1m09.746s +0.286s 5. Aron Smith BMR VW 1m09.819s +0.359s 6. Alain Menu BMR VW 1m09.864s +0.404s 7. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Honda 1m09.943s +0.483s 8. Jack Goff BMR Vauxhall 1m09.996s +0.536s 9. Matt Neal Honda 1m10.043s +0.583s 10. Marc Hynes MG 1m10.045s +0.585s 11. Fabrizio Giovanardi Motorbase Ford 1m10.145s +0.685s 12. Tom Ingram Speedworks Toyota 1m10.248s +0.788s 13. Rob Collard WSR BMW 1m10.336s +0.876s 14. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 1m10.341s +0.881s 15. Nick Foster WSR BMW 1m10.425s +0.965s 16. Rob Austin RAR Audi 1m10.457s +0.997s 17. Adam Morgan Ciceley Mercedes 1m10.556s +1.096s 18. Martin Depper Eurotech Honda 1m10.623s +1.163s 19. Dave Newsham AmD Ford 1m10.639s +1.179s 20. Warren Scott BMR Vauxhall 1m10.673s +1.213s 21. Glynn Geddie UA Toyota 1m10.746s +1.286s 22. Hunter Abbott RAR Audi 1m10.897s +1.437s 23. Lea Wood Houseman Toyota 1m11.255s +1.795s 24. Aiden Moffat Moffat Chevrolet 1m11.404s +1.944s 25. James Cole UA Toyota 1m11.472s +2.012s 26. Jack Clarke Motorbase Ford 1m11.556s +2.096s 27. Robb Holland Rotek Audi 1m11.586s +2.126s 28. Ollie Jackson Welch Proton 1m11.775s +2.315s 29. Simon Belcher Handy Toyota 1m12.068s +2.608s 30. Chris Stockton BTC Chevrolet 1m12.430s +2.970s 31. Dan Welch Welch Proton 1m14.715s +5.255s