Plato breaks Rydell's pole streak

Jason Plato brought Rickard Rydell's run of BTCC pole positions to an end when he took his Vauxhall to the fastest time in the One Shot Showdown at Snetterton

Plato breaks Rydell's pole streak

Plato will start the semi-night sprint race (round 15) at the front and the Vauxhall driver reckons that could be a big advantage.

"It's always good to start on pole and if, as forecast, it rains that could be a big advantage," he said.

The Englishman reckons that Vauxhall is at last starting to get to find a better qualifying set-up. "We're making progress now, but because of the limited testing this season it is taking a long time. The nice thing is that we've had a strong race pace all year."

Plato was also keen to praise the Triple Eight Race Engineering team, which has repaired two badly damaged cars since the Croft rounds a fortnight ago. "It's nice to be on the top for myself, but also for everyone in the team - they've worked really hard and we've got three competitive cars here."

Rydell had to be content with second place for Ford, while Honda's Tom Kristensen was another strong challenger for pole, until he slid on dirt at the Russell chicane at the end of his lap. The Le Mans winner's lap was still good enough for third on the grid, but a similar but more extreme problem for Alain Menu condemned the Swiss to a start right down in the pack - eighth fastest.

Gabriele Tarquini fell foul of the ride-height check and the Italian will have to start his Honda at the back of the grid.

Rain in the races could bring real problems for the drivers and all teams are anxiously consulting forecasters. Rydell reckoned that with rain, this evening's races could be: "the worst races ever for incidents. Last year there was a lot of dirt brought onto the circuit, which was hard to see. If it rains you won't see it at all."

Plato agreed with the Swede's sentiments: "If we're honest none of us really want to race in the wet and the dark."

"I've done it at Spa and Le Mans," added Vauxhall team mate Yvan Muller, "and it was terrible. If it rains it will be a shame, because it will probably be a lottery."

Alan Morrison was again well clear at the head of the Class B field, as his closest title challenger James Kaye slid off the road at Riches early in his lap. But the Ulsterman was sent to the back for leaving the pin in his fire extinguisher.



1 Jason Plato (Vauxhall Vectra) 1m09.378s
2 Rickard Rydell (Ford Mondeo) 1m09.531s
3 Tom Kristensen (Honda Accord) 1m09.585s
4 Vincent Radermecker (Vauxhall Vectra) 1m09.943s
5 James Thompson (Honda Accord) 1m09.944s
6 Anthony Reid (Ford Mondeo) 1m10.010s
7 Yvan Muller (Vauxhall Vectra) 1m10.131s
8 Matt Neal (Nissan Primera) 1m10.692s
9 Alain Menu (Ford Mondeo) 1m11.515s
10 Mark Lemmer (Honda Integra-R) 1m18.555s


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