MG's Jason Plato admitted he sacrificed qualifying at Thruxton today in order to maximise his race set up for tomorrow's BTCC races.
Plato, who shares the lead of the championship with pole-man Andrew Jordan, qualified his MG 6 in sixth, narrowly ahead of his team mate Sam Tordoff.
The former-double champion said although he was held up on his fastest lap he was 'reasonably satisfied' to end the session just four-tenths off Jordan.
“I'm reasonably satisfied. On my best lap I got held up a little bit in the last chicane and had to overtake three cars and got caught behind the Honda's and we know from the data that cost me about a tenth and a half,” Plato told crash.net
“So if you take that into account that puts us just two-and-a-half tenths behind Jordan and P4, so yeah, I'm pretty satisfied with that if I'm honest.”
Plato said he and his MG-squad had been chasing set up all through practice and stated he arrived in qualifying on the back foot as a result – the Triple Eight man citing tyre longevity as a pivotal factor in achieving a race winning set up.
“We've had some problems today where we've been chasing the set up and we haven't done any qualifying simulation runs in any of the two practice sessions because we were a little bit out of bed on our race set up,” he said.
“Ultimately it's the race set up is really important around here. You can be on pole and lead every lap and get a puncture right at the last.
“It's been a case of, lets sacrifice qualifying to think about our race pace and performance and that's what we've done. So to be only a couple of tenths in reality, I'm pretty pleased with that.
“Of course tyres will once again be a factor. That's one of the things we've made sure today that we have a set up which will get us to the end of the race.”