Fabrizio Giovanardi said he was confident of a strong performance at Knockhill as he seeks to move closer to securing a second successive HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship title.

The Italian headed to Scotland with a lead of more than 40 points over Jason Plato and just nine races left for the SEAT man to try and close the gap.

Although Plato was able to qualify on the front-row as SEAT continued to be the team to beat in terms of qualifying pace, Giovanardi will start from sixth place - only 0.003secs away from a place on the second row of the grid - and said he was hopeful of a good performance on race day if he can stay out of trouble.

"There wasn't enough time on the last run to warm the tyres so we couldn't respond," he said. "It's a shame but we're not too far from the front and if we avoid trouble in the first few laps, we could benefit from any incidents that may happen."

Vauxhall team-mate Matt Neal meanwhile will line up directly ahead of Giovanardi on the grid after positing the fourth fastest time and he admitted that he was happy to have qualified well.

"The car felt good but we couldn't match the diesel SEATs today," he said. "They have more power and are very quick out of the slow corners as well as up the start/finish straight. We're at the sharp end of the grid though and that's good."