Silverstone BTCC: Jason Plato dominates qualifying

Jason Plato dominated the British Touring Car qualifying session at Silverstone on Saturday to take his fifth pole position of 2012

Silverstone BTCC: Jason Plato dominates qualifying

Plato's works MG6 set a time of 58.838 seconds early in the session to move to the top of the timesheets. He went on to record eight times good enough for pole, the fastest of which was 58.717s.

"I can't go any quicker than 58.7s," said the double champion. "We're getting every last bit from the car.

"It's a potent weapon in the dry now."

The scrap for second was close. Dave Newsham took the spot early on, but could not improve on his 58.969s for the rest of the session.

That allowed the NGTC Ford Focus of Mat Jackson (Motorbase) to close in, and he ended up missing out beating the ES Racing Vauxhall Vectra's mark by just 0.001s.

That was until Newsham lost his lap for not respecting the track limits, dropping him to fifth and putting Jackson on the front row for Sunday's first race.

Frank Wrathall's Dynojet Toyota Avensis was the best of the cars not to break the 59s barrier, beating the WSR BMW of Rob Collard to third.

Dan Welch's Proton continued its fine Silverstone form by completing the top six, while Aron Smith made it two Motorbase Fords in the first seven with his S2000 Focus.

The NGTC Honda Civics continued to struggle. Reigning champion Matt Neal took 10th with 36kg of success ballast, more than half a second away from Plato.

Points leader Gordon Shedden suffered even more with his 45kg of ballast and had a couple of moments on his way to 19th, nearly a second away from pole.

BTCC returnee Chris Stockton was 21st in the field of 24, driving Thorney Motorsport's Vauxhall Insignia.

Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Jason Plato MG 58.717s 2. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 58.970s + 0.253s 3. Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota 59.059s + 0.342s 4. Rob Collard WSR BMW 59.121s + 0.404s 5. Dave Newsham ES Vauxhall 59.132s + 0.415s 6. Daniel Welch Welch Proton 59.155s + 0.438s 7. Aron Smith Motorbase Ford 59.225s + 0.508s 8. Tom Onslow-Cole WSR BMW 59.267s + 0.550s 9. Adam Morgan Speedworks Toyota 59.267s + 0.550s 10. Matt Neal Honda 59.283s + 0.566s 11. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Honda 59.306s + 0.589s 12. Andy Neate MG 59.326s + 0.609s 13. Nick Foster WSR BMW 59.350s + 0.633s 14. Chris James ES Vauxhall 59.455s + 0.738s 15. Howard Fuller Gilham Honda 59.489s + 0.772s 16. Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford 59.527s + 0.810s 17. Rob Austin Austin Audi 59.609s + 0.892s 18. Lea Wood Wood Vauxhall 59.629s + 0.912s 19. Gordon Shedden Honda 59.682s + 0.965s 20. Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda 59.733s + 1.016s 21. Chris Stockton Thorney Vauxhall 59.931s + 1.214s 22. Will Bratt Austin Audi 1m00.044s + 1.327s 23. Tony Hughes Speedworks Toyota 1m00.422s + 1.705s 24. Ollie Jackson AmD Volkswagen 1m00.856s + 2.139s 
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Series BTCC
Drivers Jason Plato
Teams BTC Racing
Author Kevin Turner
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