The RML prepared Chevrolet Cruze‘s claimed the two top spots in today’s qualifying as they dominated the front row for tomorrow’s race, but it was BTCC rookie Alex MacDowall who got the upper hand of ex-champion Jason Plato.
After Plato dominated the two morning sessions the heavens opened and the rain fell 5 minutes before the start of the qualifying session.
Despite the wet conditions 19-year-old MacDowall mastered the 1.95 mile circuit at Snetterton to become the youngest ever pole-sitter in the British Touring Car Championship.
“That's a great result!” exclaimed MacDowall. “The car feels really good and we've been working on setup to get the balance just right, running less camber, which has improved overall balance. The Cruze has great straightline speed and has some real pace so I'm looking forward to tomorrow. It was quite tricky out there, but I love the wet, it's definitely a different experience. I think for tomorrow, whether it's wet or dry, we should be on the podium. We've both shown we've got great pace, despite Jason carrying the extra weight.”
Plato remained upbeat despite being outdone by his young team mate. “It's a great result for the team. During this session as a team, we were definitely better than everybody else. We made the right call for running wet rears, slick fronts but I just didn't get the lap in. I think it's fair to say I didn't attack enough, but the guys worked faultlessly. Tyre changes were slick. Alex did a great job, so I am pleased to be only a tenth off pole with the extra weight, because I know that's worth a lot. Alex's pole is well deserved.”
With the two Chevrolet’s on the front row it looks to be a inter-team battle for the first corner, Plato commented: “I'll try and make sure I'm first out of the corner and I'm sure Alex will try and make sure he's first. The important thing is to secure points tomorrow.”