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Aug 03, 2014 - 06:23 AM
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Plato Dominates, As MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save Hit Back In Snetterton Qualifying
Posted by: newsla on Aug 03, 2014 - 06:22 AM
Sports Cars
Plato Dominates, As MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save Hit Back In Snetterton Qualifying


MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save Team’s Jason Plato secured his second pole-position of the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) in dominant fashion today (2 August) at a balmy Snetterton Circuit, bettering the previous record by two-tenths of a second. Sam Tordoff, the 2013 pole-sitter, rounded out a positive day with third place on the grid, narrowly missing out on giving the team a second 1-2 of the year by just 0.344s.

 

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After rain earlier in the day, conditions turned humid and after blitzing both the lap record and 2013 pole time in free practice, Jason set about ensuring the second half of the 2014 season started as intended. The thirty-minute qualifying session was over before it had started, as Jason laid down a mighty 1:56.495 tour of the 2.969-mile circuit.

With Jason having set the benchmark time, the Hondas of Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal chased after the MG driver’s time, but it was team-mate Sam in the #88 MG and Championship leader, Colin Turkington, who emerged as Jason’s closest rival, despite carrying a weighty 45KG maximum ballast penalty.

Having posted the second quickest time in the first fifteen minutes, JCT600-backed driver Sam was intent on closing the gap to Jason and shutting out Turkington’s challenge. Following an improvement to his time, Sam continued to rally off laps and edge closer to the front, but the 25-year-old suffered with traffic on his final pair of hot laps and finished up third. Turkington finished 0.4s adrift of two-time Champion Jason, having reduced the deficit by two tenths in the final minutes of the session.

The result sees Jason continue his sensational qualifying form in the Triple Eight prepared MG, making him the only driver to qualify in the top ten at every event this season, with the Snetterton pole his fifth start from the front row in 2014 and his 45th BTCC career pole-position.

Race two tomorrow will be Sam’s 50th race start in the BTCC, and there will be an opportunity for fans to win a MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save T-shirt signed by Sam via the official team Twitter account @888official.

Quotes
Jason Plato, driver #99
“It was a good lap, I was pushing really hard out there. We don’t need Colin next to us if I’m honest, I genuinely beat him today but he’ll be heading for the win tomorrow because of the advantage of rear-wheel drive. I’m only predicting, it might not happen, but I can guarantee you he’ll be first into turn one. Should Colin with 45 kilograms arguably be the second quickest person after me? Probably not. I’ve got to look after MG, Triple Eight and all of my sponsors, so I’d be a fool not to keep raising this issue. I’m not knocking Dick (Bennetts), Colin or WSR; it’s just very frustrating. I’ll do my best tomorrow of that you can be sure, but sometimes your best isn’t good enough. If I was in a rear-wheel drive car I’d be dead happy (with the regulations), but I’m not. I did want a bit more from the lap today but I have to be pleased with pole and what we’ve achieved. Job one of four is done! We have to make the most of it and score big points in the races tomorrow.”

Sam Tordoff, driver #88
“It was a strange session. I’m not overly happy with the car and it’s been odd as I don’t feel like I should be anywhere near P3. I’m still quite a chunk off Jason and I don’t feel like I’ve got a hang of it this morning. The first practice session was cut short because of the red flags, and FP2 onwards I don’t feel like we’ve got a handle on it. We bolted on last years set up and thought that’d be a good starting point, which it seemed in FP1, but suddenly it’s gone a bit away from us and I’m not sure where the time has gone. I love this circuit and I expect to be on the front row here, having said that, P3 is okay it’s good to be on the inside of the track for race one tomorrow.”

Race Weekend Information
Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Snetterton 300
Snetterton Circuit, Norwich, Norfolk NR16 2JU
2.969 miles (4.779km), 13-turn race circuit
August 2nd - 3rd, 2014
Live Timing: http://livetiming.tsl-timing.com/143103
TV Info: ITV4 and ITV4HD – live all day Sunday 3rd August

Snetterton Timetable
Sunday 3rd August
12:02 Race One
13:05 Pit Lane Walkabout / Autograph Session
14:35 Race Two
16:57 Race Three

2014 BTCC driver standings (after round 15 of 30)
1 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) 228
2 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) 221
3 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) 200
4 Jason Plato (MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save) 179
5 Rob Collard (eBay Motors) 170
6 Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) 138
7 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) 127
8 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save) 122

2014 BTCC Manufacturers Championship
1 MG/Triple Eight 462
2 Honda/Dynamics 461

2014 BTCC Teams' Championship
1 eBay Motors 394
2 Honda Yuasa Racing 345
3 MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save 299

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