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Jason Plato storms to Snetterton pole

Jason Plato will start Round 16 of the British Touring Car Championship from pole position after setting the fastest lap time in qualifying at Snetterton.

The two-time champion was dominant in the day’s earlier second practice, and despite missing out on beating his session time, still finished 0.415s ahead of Colin Turkington with Sam Tordoff in third.

MG driver Plato made the early laps by the rear-wheel drive cars look almost amateurish as he set his fastest time – a 1:56.495, a new qualifying record at the circuit – with his first flying lap, when toes around him were struggling to break out of the 1:59s bracket.

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After Andrew Jordan was forced to miss the session after he was ruled out on medical grounds following a crash in first practice, Mat Neal set out to salvage some pride for the Honda runners. The three-time champion, who has endured a trying 2014 campaign thus far, ran well in the early stages, trading times with Sam Tordoff for second place.

A number of drivers set their fastest times with some of their first laps; Alain Menu jumped up to fourth a third of the way through the 30-minute session,  while Tom Ingram put in another impressive display to claim sixth.

Menu’s fourth became fifth when championship leader Colin Turkington moved into second, as the Northern Irishman’s effort also demoted Tordoff and Neal – the former eventually gaining the upper hand, but still qualifying seven-tenths slower than his teammate in first.

Árón Smith was seventh, while Adam Morgan starts ahead of Mat Jackson by virtue of having set his lap of 1:57.746s earlier than the Airwaves driver’s identical effort. Jack Goff rounded out the top ten , despite a small off.

Top ten times

1 99 M Jason PLATO MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save MG6 9 1:56.495
2 5 I Colin TURKINGTON eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport 11 1:56.910 0.415
3 88 M Sam TORDOFF MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save MG6 10 1:57.254 0.759
4 4 M Matt NEAL Honda Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Tourer 11 1:57.281 0.786
5 9 I Alain MENU CHROME Edition Restart Racing Volkswagen CC 12 1:57.291 0.796
6 80 I Tom INGRAM Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis 12 1:57.576 1.081
7 40 I Árón SMITH CHROME Edition Restart Racing Volkswagen CC 12 1:57.708 1.213
8 33 I Adam MORGAN WIX Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class 12 1:57.746 1.251
9 6 I Mat JACKSON Airwaves Racing Ford Focus ST 12 1:57.746 1.251
10 31 I Jack GOFF CHROME Edition Restart Racing Volkswagen CC 11 1:57.757 1.262

Complete session results

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