Jason Plato took pole position at Brands Hatch today as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship field got to stretch their legs on the GP configuration.
The qualifying session was red flagged twice, the first time to recover Chris James' stricken Chevrolet Lacetti following a mechanical failure on the right front hub saw the wheel break away from the car and the second to recover a hard-pushing Frank Wrathall from the gravel trap on the last corner.
“I am very pleased with that lap” said Plato after the session “My car's set-up was absolutely perfect and I could attack all the way. Hopefully it'll be as hot again tomorrow which could sap the turbo cars like the Hondas of a bit of powerâ€¦ catching them is a big ask but this is the best way to go about it.”
Plato set the pace early in the session but Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden both took a turn at the top of the time sheets. As the session headed towards the end Plato set a time of 1:31.874 to make it four poles out of the last five qualifying sessions.
Andrew Jordan and James Nash put in a strong finish to qualify second and third in the dying minutes of the session. “We knew this would be a good circuit for the Vectra but even though I put in a couple of good laps I'm still quite surprised to be second,” said Jordan. “I've got nothing to lose now – I've not really got a championship to think about so I'm going all out for big results.”
TCF blogger Alex MacDowall completed a strong performance to line up in fourth place ahead of the two Hondas of Shedden and Neal.
James Nash was happy with his performance. “The last time I was this high up was Donington Park back in April and I had a great day there,” said the Independent Trophy leader. “Hopefully it can be the same tomorrow. I don't see any reason to change my approach just because I'm ahead in the Independents table – it's still all about as many points as possible.”
The surprise of the day saw Daniel Welch place his Welch Motorsport Proton Gen-2 on 11th spot, making it the highest-placed NGTC car.