Jason Plato snatched pole from Gordon Shedden with a last-gasp effort

Jason Plato took a last-gasp pole position in the best qualifying session of the British Touring Car season so far at Snetterton

Jason Plato snatched pole from Gordon Shedden with a last-gasp effort

The battle boiled down to a fight between the works Chevrolet Cruzes and Honda Civics.

Gordon Shedden's Civic set the first benchmark time, his 1m58.716s lap topping the timesheets for much of the session.

Alex MacDowall was quicker than team-mate Plato on the first run, but a minor fuel leak-related fire in the pits ended his run.

Plato failed to beat Shedden and MacDowall on his second run, but decided to go for a third effort. This time he managed to capture pole by just 0.025 seconds as Shedden failed to improve with his response.

"Pole for us for the rest of the year is so important," said Plato. "We've got a quick car in clean air and we can win from the front."

Running more ballast than his rivals, championship leader Matt Neal couldn't quite get on terms with the top three, but was still fourth, a quarter of a second behind Plato.

Best of the rest was James Nash in his Triple 8 Vauxhall Vectra, just ahead of Tom Chilton's Arena Motorsport Ford Focus.

Frank Wrathall scored the best qualifying result yet for an NGTC car. A late effort took his Dynojet Toyota Avensis to seventh on exactly the same time as Chilton's Focus.

Championship contenders Andrew Jordan (Eurotech Vectra) and Mat Jackson (Motorbase Ford Focus) struggled for one-lap pace, finishing 11th and 13th respectively.

The new Welch Automotive-run Proton Gen-2 qualified 20th for its BTCC debut, Daniel Welch setting a time just 2.2 seconds off pole.

Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Jason Plato Chevrolet 1m58.691s 2. Gordon Shedden Honda 1m58.716s + 0.025s 3. Alex MacDowall Chevrolet 1m58.908s + 0.217s 4. Matt Neal Honda 1m58.939s + 0.248s 5. James Nash Triple 8 Vauxhall 1m59.067s + 0.376s 6. Tom Chilton Arena Ford 1m59.084s + 0.393s 7. Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota 1m59.084s + 0.393s 8. Dave Newsham Special Tuning SEAT 1m59.252s + 0.561s 9. Paul O'Neill Tech-Speed Chevrolet 1m59.420s + 0.729s 10. Tom Onslow-Cole Arena Ford 1m59.515s + 0.824s 11. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Vauxhall 1m59.558s + 0.867s 12. Rob Collard WSR BMW 1m59.664s + 0.973s 13. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 1m59.809s + 1.118s 14. Rob Austin Austin Audi 1m59.931s + 1.240s 15. Jeff Smith Eurotech Vauxhall 2m00.026s + 1.335s 16. Nick Foster WSR BMW 2m00.161s + 1.470s 17. Tony Gilham Triple 8 Vauxhall 2m00.303s + 1.612s 18. Andy Neate Arena Ford 2m00.356s + 1.665s 19. Martyn Byford AmD Volkswagen 2m00.531s + 1.840s 20. Daniel Welch Welch Proton 2m00.910s + 2.219s 21. John George Tech-Speed Chevrolet 2m02.117s + 3.426s 22. Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford 2m02.374s + 3.683s 23. Lea Wood Central Honda 2m03.421s + 4.730s 24. Tony Hughes Speedworks Toyota 2m04.544s + 5.853s 25. Chris James ES Chevrolet No time 26. Tom Boardman Special Tuning SEAT No time 

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Alex MacDowall makes it a Chevrolet 1-2 in second practice at Snetterton

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