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Plato leads all-MG front row in BTCC qualifying at Oulton Park

Saturday, June 08 2013

Jason Plato will start tomorrow's opening Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race from pole position, with Sam Tordoff making it an MG 1-2 at Oulton Park in today's (Saturday) qualifying session.

Rob Collard set the first representative time of qualifying, albeit a couple of seconds off the practice pace. Matt Neal was first to demote him before Sam Tordoff set a lap similar to Jordan's time from the previous session.

A committed lap from Jason Plato saw him a tenth quicker than he had been all day and at half a second ahead of his team mate, set an enormous challenge for his rivals to match. Gordon Shedden was first to try, and despite an all-out attack that brought him to the attention of the stewards for exceeding track limits, was still three tenths away from the MG. The lap was eventually discounted, leaving the Honda drivers with an even tougher task.

Shedden reclaimed second place but taking a more cautious approach, was half a second away from the provisional polesitter. His team mate retained a more exuberant approach, but this led to grassy moment at Knickerbrook that put a temporary end to his challenge.

The action intensified in the final minutes as the field tried to respond to the benchmark set by Plato, who watched all of this from the comfort of the MG garage. Dave Newsham muscled the Speedworks Toyota into fourth place before Tordoff joined his team mate on the front row. Jordan's effort saw him suffer oversteer at Cascades, whilst Neal was unable to overcome the ballast he was obliged to carry as title leader.

This left Plato comfortably on pole ahead of Tordoff for an MG 1-2, four tenths separating the pair. Shedden led the Honda resistance in third, with Newsham providing much cheer for local outfit Speedworks. Jordan and Preston's Frank Wrathall occupied row three, with champions Colin Turkington and Matt Neal ahead of Adam Morgan and Tom Onslow-Cole.

Jason emerged from the MG garage after the session and said: "We're in great shape, an MG front row bodes well for tomorrow. It's a long season and we've got to keep chipping away. We want to keep that momentum going in the right direction."

Lea Wood qualified quickest of the Jack Sears runners in the S2000 class. Race one will take place at12:17 tomorrow.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Qualifying
1, Jason Plato, MG KX Momentum Racing, MG6, 1:26.130s
2, Sam Tordoff, MG KX Momentum Racing, MG6, +0.431s
3, Gordon Shedden, Honda Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic, +0.500s
4, Dave Newsham, Speedworks Motorsport, Toyota Avensis, +0.576s
5, Andrew Jordan, Pirtek Racing, Honda Civic, +0.598s
6, Frank Wrathall, Dynojet, Toyota Avensis, +0.612s
7, Colin Turkington, eBay Motors, BMW 125i M Sport, +0.671s
8, Matt Neal, Honda Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic, +0.701s
9, Adam Morgan, Ciceley Racing, Toyota Avensis, +0.701s
10, Tom Onslow-Cole, PPCGB.com/Kraftwerk Racing, +0.927s

Raceday tickets for Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park on 8/9 June are available for £31, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.