RML dominates wet free practice

The RML Chevrolet team marked itself out as the team to beat at Knockhill as Jason Plato and Mat Jackson set the pace in a pair of wet British Touring Car Championship practice sessions

RML dominates wet free practice

After missing out to Jackson in the morning session, Plato moved to the top of the timesheets with 10 minutes of a drier, but still damp, afternoon session with a time in the low 54-second bracket.

Despite being knocked off the top spot in the final minute by the Clyde Valley Racing SEAT of local hero Gordon Shedden, the 2001 champion still had time in reserve, and put himself back in the top spot on his final flying lap with a time of 54.184s - three thousandths of a second quicker than Shedden.

Neither of Vauxhall's title contenders bothered leaving the pits until track conditions were at their best in the second half of the session. Matt Neal managed the third best time with Fabrizio Giovanardi sixth.

Between the two were Motorbase BMW Jonathan Adam - making it two Scotsmen in the top four - and the WSR-run version of championship leader Colin Turkington.

Jackson, whose pace-setting lap in the first session was around four seconds off the ultimate pace, was seventh quickest overall as every driver improved their time in the afternoon.

Behind him were James Thompson (Team Dynamics Honda), Andre Jordan (Vauxhall) and Rob Collard (Motorbase BMW), while Tom Chilton, 11th quickest, had his most competitive runs of the season so far in the Arena Ford Focus.

Chilton had been only three tenths of a second off the pace in FP1 and was under a second from Plato's time in FP2, Arena's change of engine tuner over the summer clearly bearing fruit already.

Both Paul O'Neill and John George suffered though. In FP1, O'Neill damaged his Tech-Speed Honda's front splitter when he ran wide at Butcher's. George, meanwhile, lost control of his TH Motorspor-run version and backed it into the tyres at the exit of the chicane.

Practice 1 Pos Driver Car Time Gap  1. Mat Jackson Chevrolet 59.076s 2. Jason Plato Chevrolet 59.149s +0.073 3. Jonathan Adam BMW 59.270s +0.194 4. Matt Neal Vauxhall 59.288s +0.212 5. Rob Collard BMW 59.349s +0.273 6. Gordon Shedden SEAT 59.353s +0.277 7. Tom Chilton Ford 59.460s +0.384 8. Fabrizio Giovanardi Vauxhall 59.465s +0.389 9. James Thompson Honda 59.507s +0.431 10. Colin Turkington BMW 59.579s +0.503 11. Andrew Jordan Vauxhall 59.718s +0.642 12. Martin Johnson Vauxhall 59.909s +0.833 13. Stephen Jelley BMW 59.939s +0.863 14. Harry Vaulkhard Chevrolet 1m00.282s +1.206 15. Paul O'Neill Honda 1m00.443s +1.367 16. David Pinkney Honda 1m00.553s +1.477 17. John George Honda 1m02.919s +3.843 
Practice 2 Pos Driver Car Time Gap  1. Jason Plato Chevrolet 54.184s 2. Gordon Shedden SEAT 54.187s +0.003 3. Matt Neal Vauxhall 54.438s +0.254 4. Jonathan Adam BMW 54.465s +0.281 5. Colin Turkington BMW 54.469s +0.285 6. F.Giovanardi Vauxhall 54.669s +0.485 7. Mat Jackson Chevrolet 54.695s +0.511 8. James Thompson Honda 54.713s +0.529 9. Andrew Jordan Vauxhall 54.813s +0.629 10. Rob Collard BMW 54.831s +0.647 11. Tom Chilton Ford 55.050s +0.866 12. Harry Vaulkhard Chevrolet 55.157s +0.973 13. Paul O'Neill Honda 55.379s +1.195 14. David Pinkney Honda 55.637s +1.453 15. Martin Johnson Vauxhall 56.367s +2.183 16. John George Honda 56.893s +2.709 17. Stephen Jelley BMW 58.721s +4.537 
shares
comments
Nash to miss Knockhill races
Previous article

Nash to miss Knockhill races

Next article

Plato takes pole at Knockhill

Plato takes pole at Knockhill
Load comments
The making of the BTCC's newest superstar Plus

The making of the BTCC's newest superstar

Ash Sutton is on the verge of being crowned a three-time British Touring Car Champion; he seems to have it all. But life hasn't always been straightforward for this superstar of touring cars, as Marcus Simmons has been finding out

BTCC
Oct 21, 2021
The green light shining for the BTCC's hybrid future Plus

The green light shining for the BTCC's hybrid future

The Cosworth Electronics-developed BTCC hybrid system made its public debut in the most recent round at Silverstone. It's simple, but could significantly change the series' technical challenges for both the drivers and the teams

BTCC
Oct 9, 2021
The restored BSCC battler back in its family's hands after 50 years Plus

The restored BSCC battler back in its family's hands after 50 years

The Imps of George Bevan became famous in British Saloon Car Championship competition during the early 1970s. Thanks to the efforts of a small band of enthusiasts, including Bevan's grandson Jonathan, one of the ex-Bill McGovern title winners has recently returned to the race track

Historics
Sep 30, 2021
The increasingly varied CV behind a new BTCC title challenger Plus

The increasingly varied CV behind a new BTCC title challenger

A driver with limited funds behind him, it’s been a tough road to the top of the British Touring Car Championship for Jake Hill. Now he’s a title contender, accomplished historic racer and in-demand coach. It’s a great life for this self-confessed motorsport junkie

BTCC
Aug 26, 2021
The outright tin-top wins achieved by a forgotten tin-top great Plus

The outright tin-top wins achieved by a forgotten tin-top great

Already established as a formidable force in the British Saloon Car Championship, the Triumph Dolomite became a legend in 1977 when Tony Dron's Broadspeed machine frequently embarrassed the mighty Capris

BTCC
May 18, 2021
Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC Plus

Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC

It’s been a busy silly season in the BTCC since the chequered flag fell to end the 2020 campaign last November. While last year’s top two have stayed put, there’s plenty of talking points elsewhere, which should result in another fascinating year of tin-top action

BTCC
May 7, 2021
The giantkilling 'dad and lad' operation taking on the BTCC's best Plus

The giantkilling 'dad and lad' operation taking on the BTCC's best

The Lancashire squad of Ciceley Motorsport has been a BTCC race winner for several years with Adam Morgan and Mercedes. But the switch to WSR-built BMWs and addition of Tom Chilton as a true barometer for Morgan should see the team step up into title contention

BTCC
May 6, 2021
How a returning champion is feeling at home again in the BTCC Plus

How a returning champion is feeling at home again in the BTCC

After topping the times at the end of British Touring Car Championship pre-season testing, it feels like Gordon Shedden has never been away. But after plenty of changes behind the scenes, the three-time champion is bedding himself in to pick up where he left off

BTCC
May 5, 2021