Jason Plato secured his third pole position of the 2012 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season after topping the times in a wet session at Knockhill.
The MG man posted a best time of 57.128secs to snare pole when the circuit was drying out after earlier ran, with the return of the rain after a red-flag stoppage caused by an off for Robb Holland helping to cement his place at the front of the grid.
Plato is now nine points off the championship lead having secured the bonus point on offer for pole.
“I had a bit more in reserve if required but the main thing is I'm starting from the front tomorrow and the two Hondas have a lot to do,” he said. “But we're looking good in all conditions – I was very happy with the car in the dry in the earlier practice sessions so I'm feeling good about tomorrow.”
Rob Collard was second quickest in his eBay Motors BMW having earlier paced the second practice session, while third was Aron Smith, who timed his run to perfection when the session resumed after Holland's off to put one final quick lap in and secure his best qualifying result to date for Redstone Racing.
“As soon as we went out in the session the car just felt so good with the work that the team had done,” he said. “It felt like it was on rails – so I knew it was going to be quick once I made the most out of the lap. Up until about half-way we were sixth, which would still have been my best one of the year so I would have been happy with that. We made one final change and that just gave me the edge to get those couple more tenths to get me to third on the grid - it's a dream come true.”
Tom Onslow-Cole will join Smith on row two, with Frank Wrathall's Toyota and the Honda of Gordon Shedden on two three, Shedden had held pole earlier in the session before losing his quickest time for exceeding track limits.
Paul O'Neill, ahead of his second outing with Speedworks, was seventh, with points leader Matt Neal down in eighth spot.
Aside from Holland's accident, the session was halted slightly early when Andrew Jordan and Adam Morgan went off in separate incidents at turn one.