Jason Plato had mixed emotions after taking his 50th British Touring Car Championship pole position at Knockhill, with the Subaru driver still struggling with issues on his Levorg car.
On a drying track, Plato was the last of the drivers on a flying lap to cross the line at the end of the session, timing his run to perfection to secure his second consecutive Scottish pole.
But after the session, the two-time champion cut a frustrated figure in the paddock, lamenting the gap of less than a tenth of a second to team-mate Ash Sutton in second despite Plato’s car being 48 kg lighter.
“Of course, I’m pleased,” said Plato. “The reason to smile is that the heavens dealt us a tricky circuit, but had it been dry I would have been eighth or ninth.
“We just don’t have the front grip pace in the car. Whilst I’m happy I’m still pissed off because I know ultimately the pace isn’t there.
“I’m chuffed to get a pole, but I’m still thoroughly unhappy because this is my life and I’m still uncompetitive when it’s dry. I need some tricky circumstances for me to then do something.
“Come the dry tomorrow, I’ll struggle. I’ve never known anything like it since racing began in my life when I was 12.”
With Plato’s team-mate starting alongside him on the front row, and also being in contention for the overall championship, Plato admitted that the team could have some difficult calls to make on Sunday.
“The last thing I want to do is get in the way of Ash, because I want him to win and I want help him to win, so there’s probably going to be some quite tricky team choices and some conversations that are going to have to happen tomorrow.
“I’m happy to have them, but I want to be competitive and I’m not unless the conditions are tricky.”