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 
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