MG's Jason Plato has taken a sensational BTCC pole-position at Donington Park as the top-ten all annihilated the previous pole-record.

Plato's 1 minute 9.460 second pole-position lap was produced within a mealy of record pace setting laps during the opening 20 minutes of the session.

Honda's Gordon Shedden came closest to ousting the MG but trailed just over a tenth shy of the former double-champions time-topping effort.

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Plato's MG team mate Sam Tordoff had gone into qualifying as one of the favourites for the top spot, Tordoff ultimately settling for a strong third position on the grid despite setting the pace during FP2.

Fourth was BMW's Colin Turkington keeping the eBay Motor's man in contention for victory tomorrow.

Aron Smith was also another free-practice pacesetter to qualify lower than expected. The young Irishman piped his illustrious elder team mate Alain Menu to fifth in the dying seconds of the session.

Menu had caused a moment of excitement by setting a purple first sector during one of his qualifying attempts but fell four-tenths short in sixth.

Andrew Jordan squeezed the near optimum out of his Pirtek Civic, carrying 45 kilos of success ballast, to qualify a credible seventh ahead of the impressive Jack Goff placing his Vauxhall eighth.

Matt Neal struggled in comparison to his team mate, putting his Civic Tourer just ninth on the grid while Marc Hynes enjoyed a productive session in tenth.

Fabrizio Giovanardi had an eventful session in twelfth, making a brief off coming down the hill from Redgate to hinder his cause.

Adam Morgan starts 17th after agonisingly seeing his qualifying effort, good enough for fourth, deleted for failing the customary ride-height check.

Morgan did manage to get his Mercedes A-Class back onto the circuit following swift compliance changes made by his Wix Racing squad but squandered his final flying lap after sliding wide at Redgate.