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Plato on pole amidst controversy

17 September 2011

Jason Plato secured pole for the latest rounds of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Rockingham after a controversial qualifying session at the Northamptonshire circuit.

Plato posted the quickest time to top the times ahead of fellow Chevrolet driver Paul O'Neill before a late red flag caused by an off for Liam Griffin with just over three minutes remaining. When the session resumed, Plato clashed on track with Matt Neal's Honda on two separate occasions before the chequered flag dropped – with the duo then having to be separated by Chevrolet and Honda team members in the pits after an altercation afterwards.

Away from that controversy, O'Neill's second place marked a personal best for him in qualifying while behind, Rob Austin was third as he went one better than at Knockhill in his NGTC-spec Audi; which had earlier paced second practice. Neal joins the Austin on the grid having set the fourth quickest time.

James Nash was fifth quickest in his Vectra ahead of points leader Gordon Shedden, with Frank Wrathall and Andrew Jordan on row four. Mat Jackson and Martin Byford round out the top ten; the latter with his best performance so far in the AmD Milltek Racing.com Volkswagen.

Debutant Michael Caine was 18th in his Airwaves Racing Ford while the returning Tony Gilham was 23rd ahead of his debut in the Geoff Steel Racing BMW.


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