Jason Plato declared himself happy with second on the grid for the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship meeting at Knockhill after admitting he had needed a 'banzai lap' to help SEAT take its third straight front-row lock-out.
While team-mate Darren Turner was able to head into qualifying ballast-free in his Leon TDi, Plato was forced to carry 36kilos of extra weight due to his second place in the championship standings, with the undulations of the Scottish circuit meaning ballast would have an important part to play in deciding the grid.
Indeed, while current points leader Fabrizio Giovanardi was only able to post the seventh quickest time – which will see him sixth on the grid thanks to Tom Chilton's grid penalty – Plato ran near the front throughout qualifying and ended up with a best time just 0.013secs shy of Turner's pole position lap.
"My first quick lap was very slightly compromised by traffic, but my next lap put me up to third and the one after got me into second,” he said. “I had to try and get pole and my final run was a real take your brain out one. It's nice to do a banzai lap like that and at the chicane it was a case of aim the gun and fire it.
“The team told me I could take the chicane flat out; in a camper van maybe, but it was a bit wild in a Leon TDI. It wasn't a very technically precise lap, so I think I lost a little bit of time in other places. It's a big challenge to balance attack with finesse at Knockhill, but I was quite pleased with my final time with 36 kilos on board."