Plato & Turner lead SEAT 1-2

in Snetterton qualifying

SEAT's two drivers Jason Plato and Darren Turner will start the first of today's three HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship rounds at the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk from the front row of the grid.

Their turbo-diesel Leon TDIs dominated qualifying with Plato achieving pole position in a time of 1m11.145s - well inside the lap record. Turner, in second, was close behind with a best time of 1m11.267s.

Oxford-based Plato, fourth in the current standings, said: "Perfect. Our car is working beautifully here and I only needed a couple of laps to produce that time. But tomorrow is a different day and despite the nice gap back to the others we'll be taking nothing for granted.

"I've said before, though, that is a make or break weekend in terms of the championship."

Gordon Shedden headed the rest of the field with the third fastest time in his Team Halfords Honda Civic, with reigning Champion and current championship leader Fabrizio Giovanardi fourth in his Vauxhall Vectra VXR - a great effort in a car carrying maximum success ballast.

But there were dramas for Italian Giovanardi who, after setting his time, had his car break down at the side of the track. Team-mate Matt Neal, who is second in the standings, was back in 11th after a spin.

Leading times, BTCC qualifying Snetterton (provisional):

1. Jason Plato (GBR), SEAT Sport UK/SEAT Leon TDI, 1m11.145s2. Darren Turner (GBR), SEAT Sport UK/SEAT Leon TDI, +0.122s3. Gordon Shedden (GBR), Team Halfords/Honda Civic, +0.491s4. Fabrizio Giovanardi (GBR), VX Racing/Vauxhall Vectra VXR, +0.542s5. Tom Chilton (GBR), Team Halfords/Honda Civic, +0.569s6. Tom Onslow-Cole (GBR), VX Racing/Vauxhall Vectra VXR, +0.643s7. Colin Turkington (GBR), Team RAC/BMW 320si, +0.886s8. Steven Kane (GBR), Motorbase/BMW 320si, +1.090s9. Adam Jones (GBR), Team Air Cool/SEAT Leon, +1.094s10. Stephen Jelley (GBR), Team RAC/BMW 320si, +1.215s