Qualifying: Plato's double pole

Jason Plato clawed another two points closer to championship leader Yvan Muller with pole positions for both tomorrow's BTCC rounds at Knockhill.

Qualifying: Plato's double pole

In a session first disrupted by rain and then briefly stopped while Dan Eaves' burning Peugeot was extinguished, Plato led the way.

"It's starting to come together for me and my engineer John Morton," said the happy Englishman. "It's crucial to start on pole here and it's two extra points."

Plato felt progress he and Morton had made with the car in the morning practice session had given him a definite speed advantage over his team-mates. Muller and James Thompson looked evenly matched, though Muller claimed second on the grid for both races. Thompson reckoned a stop late in the session for four new tyres was badly timed and left him without the best tyre grip when the track was at its' quickest.

Thompson and Phil Bennett completed the top four for both races, but newcomer Thomas Erdos gave Peugeot something to think about by putting the Lexus fifth on the grid, ahead of Steve Soper's 406, and close to Bennett's Astra.

Dan Eaves was upbeat about his chances before qualifying, having made good progress in free practice, but it all went horribly wrong. First his 406 failed a ride-height check and his times were wiped out. And then it went up in flames.

"A fuel-rail went. It was a pretty big fire," he explained.

That was the end of Eaves day and the start of a very long night for the Peugeot mechanics.

"We've got most of the bits up here, but if the wiring loom's too badly damaged it'll mean a trip back to Coventry for someone," said Eaves.

He's unlikely to get much help from Plato and his trusty aeroplane either.

"I'd do it for ten grand, seven and a half in readies," offered pilot Plato.

Gordon Shedden stirred up the regulars with pole position in BTC Production. The reigning Ford Fiesta champion, racing for the first time for seven months, made the best of tricky conditions in the GR Motorsport Ford Focus.

"It couldn't have been any better," said the young Scot. "I missed the first few laps when the track was at its' best, because I was bedding in discs. Then someone dragged a lot of mud onto the track at Duffus, but I just managed to get a good clean lap in before the rain came down."

Title contenders James Kaye and Simon Harrison were next up in their Barwell Honda Accord and HTML Peugeot 306 respectively, with Roger Moen fourth for HTML and Simon Graves fifth for Barwell.




Jason Plato (Vauxhall Astra Coupe) 55.449s
Yvan Muller (Vauxhall Astra Coupe) 55.785s
James Thompson (Egg Sport Vauxhall Astra Coupe) 55.798s
Phil Bennett (Egg Sport Vauxhall Astra Coupe) 55.803s
Thomas Erdos (ABG Motorsport Lexus IS200) 56.044s
Steve Soper (Peugeot 406 Coupe) 56.187s
Tom Ferrier (JSM Alfa Romeo 147) 57.593s
Dan Eaves (Peugeot 406 Coupe) 5m17.293s



Jason Plato (Vauxhall Astra Coupe) 55.437s
Yvan Muller (Vauxhall Astra Coupe) 55.636s
James Thompson (Egg Sport Vauxhall Astra Coupe) 55.646s
Phil Bennett (Egg Sport Vauxhall Astra Coupe) 55.862s
Thomas Erdos (ABG Motorsport Lexus IS200) 56.115s
Steve Soper (Peugeot 406 Coupe) 56.188s
Tom Ferrier (JSM Alfa Romeo 147) 57.640s
Dan Eaves (Peugeot 406 Coupe) 1m03.471s



Gordon Shedden (GR Motorsport Ford Focus) 57.497s
James Kaye (Barwell Honda Accord) 57.532s
Simon Harrison (HTML Peugeot 306) 57.707s
Roger Moen (HTML Peugeot 306) 57.784s
Simon Graves (Barwell Honda Accord) 57.850s
Mat Jackson (GR Motorsport Ford Focus) 57.960s

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