Jason Plato secured pole position for the latest rounds of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship after SEAT enjoyed another strong Saturday at Oulton Park.

Having dominated practice and qualifying last time out at Snetterton, the diesel-powered Leon was once again the car to beat on the opening day of running at the Cheshire venue, with Plato and team-mate Darren Turner setting the pace in a practice session apiece before Plato took pole in qualifying.

His time of 1min 27.688secs was posted on his first flying lap of the session and saw him end up just over a tenth of a second ahead of Turner as the Leon TDis locked out the front row. Tom Chilton emerged as best of the rest to secure third place on the grid but was over four-tenths of a second away from pole position, while he will be joined on row two by fellow youngster Tom Onslow-Cole who was fourth quickest for Vauxhall. Vauxhall and Honda will also share row three with Fabrizio Giovanardi and Gordon Shedden fifth and sixth.

Matt Neal was seventh ahead of the leading BMW driver Colin Turkington, while Adam Jones and Andy Jordan rounded out the top ten.

A notable performance further down the grid came from Jason Hughes, who carried his venerable MG ZS to the 13th quickest time - only after being edged out of twelfth at the death by Stephen Jelley.

The session was red-flagged for around 15 minutes after Chris Stockton went off at Druids after suffering brake failure on his BTC Racing SEAT Toledo. Stockton went off into the gravel trap as a result and the session was halted as his car was recovered.

Harry Vaulkhard and Mike Jordan also hit problems during the session with Vaulkhard stopping on track and then being prevented from taking any further part in the session when he was given a helping hand by marshals, while Jordan failed the ride height test and lost all his times before going back out on track to set the 15th quickest time.

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