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Jason Plato ‘chuffed’ with third in qualifying

Jason Plato has dubbed his third-place grid position a ‘weight-corrected pole’ after the Team BMR driver ended up just 0.071 seconds behind pole man Colin Turkington in qualifying for the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Snetterton.

Plato narrowly missed out on pole, being beaten by his two team-mates in qualifying at the Norfolk circuit. The former champion considered his performance to be more than good enough considering that he is carrying 66 kg of success ballast, compared to 27 kg for Turkington and none for Smith.

“It was fucking epic considering the weight I’ve got,” said Plato to TouringCars.Net. “We know 66 kg is three quarters of a second around here, so weight-corrected I’m on pole by three tenths.

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“Unfortunately you can only go as quickly as this thing will let you go. It’s a little frustrating, because there was a pole lap in the car, but I just didn’t quite get the rhythm. I made a few little tiny errors, so I think we could have had pole.

“But actually we were easily on pole, weight-corrected, so I’m chuffed.”

Looking ahead to Sunday’s races, Plato was in buoyant mood after championship leader Gordon Shedden could only manage 16th on the grid for the opening race.

“Gordon’s not had a very good day, so we’re in good shape for tomorrow. Colin is running the soft tyre in race one, so there’s a win there to be had.

“We’re in the mix, but there’s a long way to go. We’ve just got to keep scoring points.”

The 47-year-old continued to praise the hard work carried out by his team over the summer break, which has seen the four Volkswagen CC cars stripped back and further refined over the summer break.

“The guys have worked really hard,” added Plato. “Everything has been down back to bare metal. A lot of stuff has been stripped, so they’ve been working hard and I’ve been on the beach drinking gin and tonic!”

Race one takes place at 12:02 BST on Sunday.

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