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Apr 20, 2014 - 03:55 AM
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Triple Eight Pair On Top, As Plato Secures Donington Pole
Posted by: newsla on Apr 20, 2014 - 03:51 AM
Sports Cars
Triple Eight Pair On Top, As Plato Secures Donington Pole


Two-time Champion Jason Plato secured pole position for round four of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, with a sensational 1:09.460 lap of the Donington Park National Circuit this afternoon, and birthday boy Sam Tordoff joined the MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save Team celebrations by taking third with a mighty lap of 1:09.696.

 

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Following a busy morning at the Leicestershire track where times edged closer to Gordon Shedden’s 2013 pole position time, it was Sam who first broke the sub 1:10 lap barrier, but this was soon bettered by team-mate Jason’s pole-winning time.

The second half of qualifying was a less intense affair, with few times being bettered in the final fifteen minutes. Sam set out to better his lap, but with temperatures rising, the 25-year-old wasn’t able to improve and third on the grid gives the Yorkshireman a chance to get on the podium in race one tomorrow.

Former BTCC Champion Shedden did better his earlier effort and closed the gap to Jason to 0.131s, but it wasn’t enough to deprive Jason of his first pole-position of 2014.

Since Triple Eight Race Engineering debuted the MG6 GT in 2012, Jason has qualified on the front row in 68 percent of the qualifying sessions, and only failed to qualify on the front row once in the last nine opportunities.

Racing begins tomorrow at 11:37 for what promises to be an enticing fourth round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, with race two at 14:27 and race three due to begin at 17:15. Live coverage of Sunday's races will be shown on ITV4 and itv.com, from 10.30am.

Quotes

Jason Plato, Driver of #99
"I didn't quite nail the lap actually. I made a small mistake at turn one where I lost a tenth, but overall, I'm very pleased with that. The second half of the session was good, but I didn't really get a lap together, there was a lot of dust from people going off. We've got a good balance on the car now; it's much nicer to drive. It's less snappy and more user-friendly. The grip is great; it's very stretchy and less on a knife-edge. Qualifying is so crucial now with the amount of cars on the grid, you've got to be at the sharp-end. You need to get a good result in race one and race two, and then let's see what we can do in race three; that's got to be the mental attitude I think."

Sam Tordorff, Driver of #888
“For me it was a good session. The first set of tyres I didn’t push particularly. I wanted to work the second set harder, so to be two-tenths off Jason on the first set I was very happy with as I knew I hadn’t given it my all yet. Then in the second session, the track just seemed to go away. I was actually up a couple of times after the turn one, I could keep doing that, but I’d lose it by the Old Hairpin. I think the track temperature effected things and we made a slight change between the sessions which didn’t really pay off. Overall though I’m happy with P3, I start on the inside too, so, happy days.”

Ian Harrison, Triple Eight Team Principal
“You can’t not be pleased with first and third, that’s a great result for the team. We’re looking good for tomorrow too as we have good race pace at Donington with both cars. I’m also very pleased that Marc (Hynes) got tenth too; to have three MGs in the top ten is a credit to the effort and work that the team have put in over the winter.”

2014 BTCC driver standings (after round 3 of 30)
1 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) 47
2 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) 45
3 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) 44
4 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) 40
5 Jason Plato (MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save) 38
6 Rob Collard (eBay Motors ) 34
7 Adam Morgan (WIX Racing) 18
8 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save) 17

2014 BTCC Manufacturers Championship
1 Honda/Dynamics 104
2 MG/Triple Eight 91

2014 BTCC Teams' Championship
1 Honda Yuasa Racing 85
2 eBay Motors 77
3 MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save 55
4 Pirtek Racing 43
5 Airwaves Racing 27

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