Plato grabs first pole of 2011

Jason Plato took his first pole position of the 2011 British Touring Car season at Croft this afternoon

Plato grabs first pole of 2011

The reigning champion was in contention throughout qualifying and decided on a significant set-up change during the session. The Chevrolet Cruze driver left it late, making his final run with around two minutes to go.

With personal bests in all sectors, Plato recorded 1m24.839s to push Honda's Matt Neal, who had only just moved to the top of the timesheets himself, off pole.

Rob Collard took third after an impressive effort with his WSR BMW. His 1m25.391s was recorded early on in the half-hour session and kept him at the top until the final moments.

Plato's team-mate Alex MacDowall was fourth, making it three normally aspirated cars in the top four in the first qualifying session since the turbos were handed a further 0.05 bar boost reduction.

Vauxhall Vectra drivers Andrew Jordan (Eurotech/Pirtek) and James Nash (Triple 8) completed the top six, while Gordon Shedden could only manage seventh in his Honda Civic.

Tom Chilton (Arena Motorsport) was the top Ford Focus in eighth, pipping the Motorbase version of Mat Jackson. He was also 0.7s faster than new team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole, who is running 45kg of ballast as the car is a new entry.

Rob Austin continued the improvement in form for the NGTC Audi with 11th.

Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Jason Plato Chevrolet 1m24.839s 2. Matt Neal Honda 1m25.211s + 0.372s 3. Rob Collard WSR BMW 1m25.391s + 0.552s 4. Alex MacDowall Chevrolet 1m25.547s + 0.708s 5. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Vauxhall 1m25.575s + 0.736s 6. James Nash Triple 8 Vauxhall 1m25.656s + 0.817s 7. Gordon Shedden Honda 1m25.674s + 0.835s 8. Tom Chilton Arena Ford 1m25.820s + 0.981s 9. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 1m25.928s + 1.089s 10. Paul O'Neill Tech-Speed Chevrolet 1m25.991s + 1.152s 11. Rob Austin Austin Audi 1m26.189s + 1.350s 12. Tom Boardman Special Tuning SEAT 1m26.247s + 1.408s 13. Nick Foster WSR BMW 1m26.314s + 1.475s 14. Dave Newsham Special Tuning SEAT 1m26.505s + 1.666s 15. Tom Onslow-Cole Arena Ford 1m26.532s + 1.693s 16. Jeff Smith Eurotech Vauxhall 1m26.624s + 1.785s 17. Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota 1m26.963s + 2.124s 18. Andy Neate Arena Ford 1m27.146s + 2.307s 19. Tony Gilham Triple 8 Vauxhall 1m27.192s + 2.353s 20. Lea Wood Central Honda 1m27.632s + 2.793s 21. Shaun Hollamby AmD Volkswagen 1m28.215s + 3.376s 22. Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford 1m28.456s + 3.617s 23. John George Tech-Speed Chevrolet 1m28.732s + 3.893s 24. Chris James ES Chevrolet 1m29.977s + 5.138s 
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