Two-time British Touring Car champion Jason Plato emerged from qualifying 'pretty happy' after setting the seventh fastest time in the 30-minute shootout at Thruxton.

Plato looked in good form as soon as the cars hit track for FP1, where the 97-time BTCC race winner set the second fastest time behind his Rich Energy BTC Racing team mate Josh Cook.

Having produced two solid qualifying runs, Plato provisionally sat on the second row of the grid with 10-minutes to go, but felt more time was left on the table after a lap deletion, coupled with a small error on his fastest lap.

Plato elected to remain in the garage to save tyres for race day after completing his second run.

"The lap which was disallowed was slightly quicker but it should’ve been another 0.150s better so I should’ve done a high 1’15.4. I just a made little error on my lap," Plato told Crash.net.

"I don’t know why it was deleted, but it was, so I would’ve been a high 4. We elected to do two runs in qualifying with four new tyres. At the end of that run, we were sat P4.

"The fastest time out there was a 15.4 and I think I could’ve done a 15.4. But I had no more tyres left. 

"We decided to call it a day because the only other option was to put 2 new front tyres on which normally upsets the balance, but sometimes you feel you can get a lap out of it. We didn’t do that.

"Josh [Cook], Cammish and a couple of others put new fronts on and went quicker. That’s no excuse, it just wasn’t in our plan."

Nevertheless, Plato is confident he'll reap the rewards of sacrificing another run in qualifying by having a better tyre allocation for Sunday's three races.

The BTCC legend believes he's got the pace to be a part of the leading group come race day.

"We’ve got lots of good tyres and we’re not compromised at all for any of the races on tyres. We’ve got a better tyre selection than Josh and that was our plan," Plato continued.

"I’m pretty happy. If you look at the times, there’s seven guys and then there’s a jump to the rest. I think we’re in the race. Let’s wait and see what happens tomorrow."