Jason Plato admitted that the ballast onboard his SEAT Leon TDi hadn't helped after he qualified in tenth place for the final rounds of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship.

In the final race weekend for the SEAT Sport team in the BTCC before its withdrawal, Plato started season finale with the eleventh quickest time but was just four-tenths of a second away from the quickest time with times being close around the short Indy circuit.

Plato then improved to end the second session in ninth and posted his quickest time of the day early on in qualifying, with a lap of 49.572secs putting him sixth on the timesheets.

However, seemingly struggling with his car around Clearways, Plato was unable to improve on his time and was forced to settle for tenth place on the grid - albeit a place ahead of title leader Fabrizio Giovanardi on the grid.

"The car wasn't bad, although we didn't have that finite balance," he said. "Carrying 36 kilos of success ballast really hurts at Brands Hatch. I'm less than two-tenths of a second slower than Darren, but that's the difference between third and tenth.

"Clearways seems to be our achilles' heel around here and if you don't get that corner right it's impossible to overtake on the Indy circuit. If that is the case tomorrow, I could be in for a bit of a dull first race."