Darren Turner took pole position for the latest rounds of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill after SEAT secured a 1-2 on the grid for the third meeting in succession.
Turner, who won twice at the Scottish circuit last season, posted a quickest time of 53.163secs to take top spot on the grid at the wheel of his diesel-powered Leon and only needed to complete nine laps during the session in order to secure pole – meaning he has managed to save valuable tyres ahead of race day.
Plato did his best to usurp his team-mate but his best lap fell just 0.013secs short as he had to settle for second place, but still maintained the recent strong qualifying form of the SEAT squad since the resumption of racing following the summer break. Plato's lap was all the more impressive considering the ballast on his car compared to Turner.
Tom Chilton was third fastest for Team Halfords but he will line up from ninth on the grid as a result of the six place grid penalty imposed for his indiscretions in the final race of the weekend at Oulton Park last time out, which means that Tom Onslow-Cole and Matt Neal will share row two for Vauxhall. Onslow-Cole in particular has been strong throughout the weekend to date but was still nearly three-tenths of a second behind the Leon's ahead.
Colin Turkington will start from fifth on the grid having been unable to match his performance in the second free practice session, where he was quickest, although he was only 0.001secs slower than double champion Neal. Defending champion Fabrizio Giovanardi was only 0.002secs behind the Team RAC BMW and will start sixth, with Mat Jackson seventh and Andy Jordan eighth – the younger of the John Guest Racing pair being comfortably the quickest of the BTC-spec runners.
Chilton will line up on the grid alongside Team Halfords team-mate Gordon Shedden who could only manage tenth on the grid for his home race while Adam Jones and Harry Vaulkhard will share row six. BMW pair Steven Kane and Stephen Jelley share row seven ahead of Rob Collard and Mike Jordan, while Jason Hughes, John George, Michael Doyle and Chris Stockton complete the top 20. Stockton was only able to complete seven laps during the session after he was tagged by a spinning George early in the session.
Martyn Bell and Alan Taylor will share the final row of the grid, Bell having put his Astra ahead of Taylor's Honda late in the session.