Jason Plato says qualifying second ahead of tomorrow's opening British Touring Car Championship race at Croft is 'a much needed tonic', following what has been a difficult season so far for the Subaru squad.

The former two-time champion joins his pole-sitting team mate Ashley Sutton on the front-row after what proved to be a resurgent return to form for Subaru outfit in qualifying during the fifth round of the championship.

Subaru's season has been blighted by a lack of straight-line speed performance, but the BMR outfit have appeared to make progress in the Levorg's engine department, which has catapulted both Sutton and Plato back into contention.

Despite a gain in performance, Plato explained his own qualifying run was hampered by a water temperature issue.

"We’ve had problem after problem," Plato told Crash.net. "Even though the results and performance haven’t displayed it, we’ve been making big gains getting to the feel that I needed.

"But we’ve been plagued by hideous engine issues. We’ve found a bit of time in the engine but my engine cooked itself in qualifying again.

"We had massive water temperature. Every lap that I did it was 120 degrees. That’s frustrating because that’s probably cost us 0.3s.

"We’ve still got some problems but we’ve found a bit of performance. It’s nice to have some speed back again."

Having not taken a win since Knockhill last season, Plato is optimistic over the race pace of his RWD Levorg, insisting the Subaru has better corner speed than the nearest BMWs around him.

"We’re out to win some races. I’m already looking forward to it because this is what I like to do. This is what gets my rocks off!" Plato continued.

"It’s a much needed tonic, to start enjoying it again. I think we’ve got better corner speed then they [BMW] do but we certainly haven’t got the straight-line speed that they have.

"I think our race pace will be pretty good tomorrow. I think we’ve got a very good chance to win. All things being equal, providing we have no reliability issues, we’ve got a chance."

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