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Frank Wrathall beats Jason Plato to Snetterton pole

Dynojet’s Frank Wrathall has taken his first-ever pole position in the British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton, after beating Jason Plato to the top time by 0.015 seconds.

Click here for the full qualifying times.

Wrathall had earlier posted the top time at the half-way point of the session, before Plato went even quicker a handful of laps later. Then, with five minutes to go, the Lancashire racer improved his time to return to the top and secure his first-ever BTCC pole position. It is the first time that a Toyota has been on pole position in the BTCC since 1993 – a wait of 19 years!

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Plato returned to the circuit in the closing minutes of the session but on his final flying run ran wide onto the grass and was therefore unable to beat Wrathall.

Dave Newsham was third fastest, continuing his strong form from the earlier practice session. Andrew Jordan took fourth in the closing minutes of the session to qualify as the best Honda driver on the grid.

Also securing their best-ever qualifying results were Speedworks’ Adam Morgan in fifth and Welch Motorsport’s Dan Welch in sixth.

Honda’s Matt Neal, carrying the maximum 45 kg of success ballast, was never really in contention for pole position and qualified in seventh, just under a second off the pole position time.

BINZ Racing’s Lea Wood equalled his best-ever BTCC qualifying result with eighth, ahead of Tom Onslow-Cole in his eBay Motors BMW and Jeff Smith in his Pirtek Motorsport Honda Civic.

Mat Jackson took the new Redstone Racing NGTC Ford Focus to 16th in its first-ever qualifying session. In a session that saw several best-ever results, Chris James equalled his best qualifying performance with 15th.

Making his debut in the British series this weekend, American Robb Holland took the Team HARD. Honda Civic to 20th in qualifying. He was less than a tenth behind the man who vacated the seat for him, with Tony Gilham qualifying the Thorney Motorsport Vauxhall Insignia in 19th.

Following his pit-lane fire earlier in the day, Gordon Shedden’s bad weekend continued after he was unable to set a competitive time in qualifying. The Scot had at one stage ground to a halt on circuit, causing a brief red flag, and despite crawling back to the pits his Team Dynamics outfit were unable to fix the problem. He will therefore start in 22nd and last for tomorrow’s first race –

The first race from Snetterton takes place at 1200 GMT on Sunday.

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