Plato takes pole at Knockhill
|By Jamie O'Leary||Saturday, August 15th 2009, 15:48 GMT|
Jason 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