MG’s Jason Plato took his third pole position of the 2012 season during qualifying for the British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill, with Rob Collard taking second and Árón Smith third.
Click here for the full Round 19 Qualifying results.
Third-placed man in the championship Plato set a lap of 57.128 seconds at the half-way point of the session to go top, demoting eBay Motors (WSR)’s Rob Collard to second. The BMW driver had traded top times with Plato at the mid-point of the session, before it was red-flagged due to Rob Holland beeching his car in the gravel. During this stoppage the rain began to fall harder, effectively ending any contention for Plato’s rivals to put in a late pole lap towards the end of the session.
Irishman Árón Smith took third on the grid in the final ten minutes of the session with a lap 0.350 seconds off the pace. He will be joined on the second row of the grid by Collard’s team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole, who proved that despite the damp conditions the BMW’s were going well around the twisty 2 km Knockhill circuit.
Frank Wrathall followed up his pole position last time out at Snetterton with fifth on the grid in Scotland. Gordon Shedden will start alongside him in sixth – the Scot had been top early in the session but had his fastest time removed for exceeding the track limits in the process. Shedden, despite being second in the championship, will also carry the maximum 45 kg of success ballast this weekend, as he would have been leading the championship if it wasn’t for his exclusion from the results in the third race at Snetterton.
Making his second appearance in the Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis is Paul O’Neill, who qualified the car in seventh. Matt Neal was eighth, after continuing to fight the balance of his Civic and the lack of straightline speed around Knockhill.
Redstone Racing’s Mat Jackson qualified in ninth and will have Team ES Racing’s Dave Newsham alongside him on the grid in tenth.
Pirtek Motorsport’s Andrew Jordan endured his worst qualifying session of the season so far, managing only 11th despite having been in the top ten in both of the morning’s free practice sessions.
The session was red-flagged only once – when American Robb Holland went off at Scotsmans corner with 13 minutes to go. He qualified in 18th.
Round 19 0f the 2012 BTCC takes place at 11:45 GMT on Sunday.
More to follow.