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BTCC NEWS 

Plato takes pole at Knockhill

Jason PlatoJason Plato converted the RML Chevrolet team's excellent practice pace into pole position for the first of this weekend's three British Touring Car Championship races at Knockhill.

The 2001 champion had not been outside the top two in either of the two wet practice sessions, and he then proved that the Lacetti was the car to have in the dry as well by taking his third pole from the last four BTCC rounds.

Plato's time of 53.370 seconds edged him seven hundredths of a second clear of Knockhill circuit employee Gordon Shedden in the only Clyde Valley Racing SEAT on show this weekend.

Shedden, whose grid spot was his best since Croft last season, was a revelation, twice topping the times during the session. He will line up ahead of an all-BMW second row.

Fellow Scotsman Jonathan Adam led the second row, the Motorbase Performance driver taking the best grid spot of his BTCC career, ahead of championship leader Colin Turkington, who was carrying 45kg of success ballast in his WSR-run machine.

Rob Collard and Mat Jackson qualified fifth and sixth in the second Motorbase and RML cars, while Matt Neal was the best of the works Vauxhalls in seventh - one place ahead of his team-mate Andrew Jordan.

Stephen Jelley, following a high-speed trip through the gravel in final practice, rallied to ninth while Snetterton hero Paul O'Neill made it into the top 10 in his Tech-Speed Honda.

Defending champion Fabrizio Giovanardi (Vauxhall) could only manage 11th spot while James Thompson (Team Dynamics Honda) fared even worse, and will start 13th, albeit still less than a second off the pace.

Pos Driver              Car           Time        Gap
 1. Jason Plato         Chevrolet     53.370s
 2. Gordon Shedden      SEAT          53.443s  +0.073
 3. Jonathan Adam       BMW           53.488s  +0.118
 4. Colin Turkington    BMW           53.540s  +0.170
 5. Rob Collard         BMW           53.596s  +0.226
 6. Mat Jackson         Chevrolet     53.622s  +0.252
 7. Matt Neal           Vauxhall      53.626s  +0.256
 8. Andrew Jordan       Vauxhall      53.787s  +0.417
 9. Stephen Jelley      BMW           53.826s  +0.456
10. Paul O'Neill        Honda         53.893s  +0.523
11. F.Giovanardi        Vauxhall      53.924s  +0.554
12. Tom Chilton         Ford          53.933s  +0.563
13. James Thompson      Honda         54.103s  +0.733
14. Harry Vaulkhard     Chevrolet     54.309s  +0.939
15. David Pinkney       Honda         54.541s  +1.171
16. John George         Honda         54.895s  +1.525
17. Martin Johnson      Vauxhall      55.002s  +1.632
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