Power Maxed Racing's Jason Plato says he's pleased to emerge from qualifying for Sunday's first British Touring Car Championship race at Thruxton in sixth.

The two-time champion posted produced a lap just 0.4s shy of pole-sitter Sam Tordoff's time to line up on the third row alongside AmD Tuning's Rory Butcher in sixth.

Plato felt a spot on the second row on the grid could well have been within reach, but the Vauxhall Astra driver said his final lap was compromised by two BMWs ahead of him at the last chicane.

"I’m happy with that," Plato told Crash.net. "I went green during the first two sectors on my last lap and then came across the two BMWs at the chicane.

"I was 0.2s up on my lap at the point. That wouldn’t have done anything, other than putting me P4. I’m chuffed with it. We’ve improved the car as the day has gone on.

"I still haven’t managed to find its sweet spot, but we’re getting closer and closer. I’m having a whale of a time."

Sitting 13th in the early points standings, Plato says his current championship reckoning doesn’t reflect the pace of his Vauxhall Astra.

"I’m enjoying it and the car is good. There’s a great atmosphere in the team. We’re all going the right way. We’re competitive," Plato continued.

"It hasn’t gone our way yet. We made a little error at Donington in qualifying where the car wasn’t set up as we thought it was. We misread something.

"Had we achieved what we did at the test at Donington, I could’ve been top two rows and then it could’ve been a very different weekend because we had good pace.

"My pace in race three on the hard tyre was good. Brands Hatch, yes I was an inch other so I’ve taken that on the chin.

"Brands could’ve been very different. The pace is there but we haven’t had the roll of the balls yet. I’m convinced we’ll be spraying champagne."

 

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