MG's Sam Tordoff has comfortably claimed his second BTCC pole-position in as many races after producing a scintillating lap which was five-tenths quicker than anyone else at Rockingham.

As expected from their ominous practice form, the two Triple Eight MG's immediately laid a daunting benchmark for the rest of the field. And it was during that blistering opening run where Tordoff magnificently conjured a 1 minute 22.471 second lap around the Rockingham circuit.

Jason Plato, despite easily topping FP2, couldn't muster a response to his team mates searing qualifying pace and even finds himself demoted onto the second row of the grid following a dramatic last gap effort from championship leader Colin Turkington, who somehow hurled his WSR 1-Series into second place with full success ballast.

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Plato's starting position for tomorrow's opening race, however, could have been a whole lot worse after the former double-champion was given a third reprimand - an instant demotion to back of the grid - following the stewards deciding he was at fault for the clash with Rob Austin last time out at Knockhill.

However, his Triple Eight squad quickly appealed the decision and the ruling was successfully overturned prior to qualifying.

Joining Plato on the second row is the Honda of Gordon Shedden who qualified his Civic Tourer in fourth as the 2012 champion bids to erode Turkington's championship lead.

Reigning champion Andrew Jordan was next in his Civic to qualify fifth. Jordan parked his Honda early as the Pirtek man could improve no more on his best lap. Mercedes' Adam Morgan maintained his solid form of late and joins Jordan on the third row in sixth.

Beginning to make it a formality, Marc Hynes ensured three MG6's made the top ten after qualifying his Quantel BiFold MG in seventh ahead of BMR's Alain Menu in eighth - less than a tenth separates fifth to eighth.

Matt Neal was ninth in his Civic Tourer despite posting a time only two tenths off his team mate Shedden who sits in fourth. Airwaves' Mat Jackson followed in close quarters, trailing the Honda by only three-hundredths of a second.

Jackson in turn denied his Motorbase team mate Fabrizio Giovanardi a top ten slot by the even slender margin of two-hundredths.