Jason Plato captures pole on Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit

Reigning British Touring Car champion Jason Plato took pole position on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit

Jason Plato captures pole on Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit

The Chevrolet Cruze ace exchanged top spot with his Honda-mounted title rivals Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden early on before setting a 1m32.264s.

The session was interrupted by two red flags - the first when a wheel came off Chris James's Chevrolet Lacetti at Hawthorn and the second when Frank Wrathall (Dynojet Toyota Avensis) crashed at Clearways - as Plato's rivals edged closer.

But after the second stoppage, Plato swept to a 1m31.874s before retiring to the pits to watch everyone fail to match the mark.

"My car was perfect," he said. "It's just mega - I can attack and carry lots of speed in the corners."

Andrew Jordan (Eurotech/Pirtek Vauxhall Vectra) took a surprise second with a fine 1m32.139s, while a last-gasp charge from James Nash (Triple Eight) made it two Vectras in the top three.

Alex MacDowall was fourth in his works Cruze, ahead of Shedden and Neal, both of whom seemed unable to respond to the improved pace, each carrying 36kg of success ballast.

Title outsider Mat Jackson starred in Motorbase's Ford Focus to qualify seventh, albeit over 0.7s down on Plato.

Although Wrathall was 10th when he went off, he fell down the order as others improved and it was Dan Welch (Welch Proton Gen-2) who topped the NGTC contingent in 11th.

Ollie Jackson qualified the second Triple Eight Vectra 15th for his BTCC debut, just under a second behind team-mate Nash, while fellow debutant Chris Swanwick (Rob Austin Audi) will start 27th on the 29-car grid.

 Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Jason Plato Chevrolet 1m31.874s 2. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Vauxhall 1m32.139s + 0.265s 3. James Nash Triple 8 Vauxhall 1m32.316s + 0.442s 4. Alex MacDowall Chevrolet 1m32.418s + 0.544s 5. Gordon Shedden Honda 1m32.442s + 0.568s 6. Matt Neal Honda 1m32.444s + 0.570s 7. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 1m32.597s + 0.723s 8. Paul O'Neill Tech-Speed Chevrolet 1m32.650s + 0.776s 9. Tom Onslow-Cole Arena Ford 1m32.691s + 0.817s 10. Tom Chilton Arena Ford 1m32.704s + 0.830s 11. Daniel Welch Welch Proton 1m32.717s + 0.843s 12. Tom Boardman Special Tuning SEAT 1m32.888s + 1.014s 13. Rob Collard WSR BMW 1m32.960s + 1.086s 14. Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota 1m33.113s + 1.239s 15. Ollie Jackson Triple 8 Vauxhall 1m33.243s + 1.369s 16. Andy Neate Arena Ford 1m33.253s + 1.379s 17. Jeff Smith Eurotech Vauxhall 1m33.284s + 1.410s 18. Michael Caine Motorbase Ford 1m33.310s + 1.436s 19. Martin Byford AmD Volkswagen 1m33.377s + 1.503s 20. Nick Foster WSR BMW 1m33.451s + 1.577s 21. Dave Newsham Special Tuning SEAT 1m33.551s + 1.677s 22. Rob Austin Rob Austin Audi 1m33.621s + 1.747s 23. John George Tech-Speed Chevrolet 1m34.188s + 2.314s 24. Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford 1m34.241s + 2.367s 25. Tony Gilham Geoff Steel BMW 1m34.300s + 2.426s 26. Lea Wood Central Group Honda 1m34.951s + 3.077s 27. Chris Swanwick Rob Austin Audi 1m35.713s + 3.839s 28. Chris James ES Chevrolet 29. Tony Hughes Speedworks Toyota 
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Reigning champion Jason Plato on top in second practice
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Jason Plato gains ground in British Touring Car title fight with Brands Hatch victory

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