Jason Plato will start the first race of this weekend's 2012 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship round at Oulton Park from pole position after just managing to edge Matt Neal for the top spot.

Plato's time of 1:26.872s is a new qualifying lap record for the Cheshire circuit came right at the end of the half-hour qualifying, and was just 0.077s ahead of Matt Neal.

In fact the times of all of the top four cars on the grid - Rob Collard and Andrew Jordan claiming the remaining honours - were below the previous record, and all four were separated by less than two tenths of a second after an exciting session.

Qualifying times

1. Jason Plato MG KX Momentum Racing MG6 1:26.872s (14 laps)
2. Matt Neal Honda Yuasa Racing Team Honda Civic 1:26.949s + 0.077s (16 laps)
3. Rob Collard eBay Motors BMW 320si 1:26.989s + 0.117s (16 laps)
4. Andrew Jordan Pirtek Racing Honda Civic 1:27.051s + 0.179s (14 laps)
5. Gordon Shedden Honda Yuasa Racing Team Honda Civic 1:27.457s + 0.585s (17 laps)
6. Tom Onslow-Cole eBay Motors BMW 320si 1:27.503s + 0.631s (17 laps)
7. Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota Avensis 1:27.659s + 0.787s (16 laps)
8. Daniel Welch Welch Motorsport Proton Persona 1:27.914s + 1.042s (17 laps)
9. Dave Newsham Team ES Racing.com Vauxhall Vectra 1:27.969s + 1.097s (14 laps)
10. Mat Jackson Redstone Racing Ford Focus 1:28.033s + 1.161s (6 laps)
11. Aron Smith Redstone Racing Ford Focus 1:28.093s + 1.221s (16 laps)
12. Andy Neate MG KX Momentum Racing MG6 1:28.125s + 1.253s (14 laps)
13. Nick Foster eBay Motors BMW 320si 1:28.155s + 1.283s (16 laps)
14. Lea Wood BINZ Racing Vauxhall Vectra 1:28.178s + 1.306s (14 laps)
15. Liam Griffin Redstone Racing Ford Focus 1:28.241s + 1.369s (17 laps)
16. Adam Morgan Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis 1:28.357s + 1.485s (16 laps)
17. Tony Gilham Team HARD. Honda Civic 1:28.521s + 1.649s (14 laps)
18. Will Bratt Rob Austin RAcing Audi A4 1:28.85s + 1.978s (17 laps)
19. Jeff Smith Pirtek Racing Honda Civic 1:28.991s + 2.119s (14 laps)
20. Ollie Jackson AmD Tuning.com Volkswagen Golf 1:29.572s + 2.700s (13 laps)
21. Chris James Team ES Racing.com Vauxhall Vectra 1:29.657s + 2.785s (16 laps)
22. Tony Hughes Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis 1:31.689s + 4.817s (15 laps)

Total laps: 329