Jason Plato and MG were unstoppable in qualifying for the penultimate round of the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, leading the team’s fourth 1-2 of the season.
Plato and MG KX Momentum Racing team-mate Sam Tordoff both worked in tandem around the 1.6 mile National layout of Silverstone, towing each other to the top two spots in the first half of the session.
Plato continued to improve his times, Tordoff doing likewise as the pole time dipped under the lap record once again to a time of 58.210s, Tordoff coming mightily close to his team-mate as he trailed by just 0.009s.
While Plato claimed his third pole position in an MG6-dominated session, Dave Newsham‘s fine form continued with the lead spot on row two, the Speedworks Toyota driver sharing it with Colin Turkington who eased every inch of speed from the eBay Motors BMW.
Fifth went the way of Frank Wrathall in a topsy-turvy session for the Dynojet Toyota man, who was running fourth before his times were removed for a ride height check fail. Wrathall returned with the problem rectified in the final 10 minutes, and quickly moved himself into the top five.
Sixth was a great result for Jack Goff in the Team HARD Vauxhall Insignia, leaping into the mix with 10 minutes of the half-hour remaining to bump Ciceley Racing‘s Adam Morgan down to seventh ahead of Rob Collard in another eBay BMW 125i.
Turkington was the best of the championship contenders, Matt Neal managing ninth despite his hand injury ahead of championship leader Andrew Jordan, who settled for a top 10 place despite carrying maximum 45kg of ballast.
In a session where the top 20 were all covered by a second, Neal ended the session just 0.5s off the pole time, surviving three off-track moments including a lurid loop at Copse that nearly saw Howard Fuller collect the Yuasa Honda Civic.
A sterling show from Andy Neate moved him into the top 10 for a brief moment, but the IP Tech Race Engineering driver still ended qualifying a personal best for 2013 of 11th on the grid.
Dan Welch suffered a spin at Brooklands in the early stages of the session, one of many drivers to run into trouble at the long left-hander. His final effort also demoted Gordon Shedden down to 15th in a not-so-good session for the Scot, struggling with his 36kg of ballast.
The session was over before it even started for Warren Scott, an alternator problem preventing the BMR-Restart driver from matching his sterling practice performance.
Despite the Jack Sears Trophy already being claimed last time out by Lea Wood, the Central Racing Vauxhall driver claiming the qualifying spoils ahead of his main – and only Silverstone – rival Liam Griffin.