TURNER TAKES HIS TURN AT THE FRONT AS SEAT SCORE THIRD CONSECUTIVE QUALIFYING 1-2SEAT's qualifying conquests continued in the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Champioinship at Knockhill in Scotland yesterday - the team scoring their third consecutive 1-2 - this time with Darren Turner taking the pole over team-mate, Jason Plato.
The Oxfordshire-based driver scored his second BTCC pole of the year after recording a time of 53.163 seconds after only nine minutes of the half hour session. The result is Turner's second consecutive pole at Knockhill and the third in a row for SEAT at the Scottish circuit.
With only 90 seconds of qualifying remaining, Jason Plato recorded a time less than 2/100ths of a second slower than Turner to seal the 1-2 result. Plato's original front row time had been eclipsed by Team Halfords driver Tom Chilton in the dying moments.
"We did one proper run early in the session to put down a time, then a couple more just to scrub in some tyres for tomorrow," Turner said.
"I was trying to save rubber for tomorrow. We were ready to go to react with warm tyres on the rear if somebody had beaten the time with five minutes to go. I am delighted for the team and its great that Jason and I are up the front and hopefully we can score some big points tomorrow."
Despite setting the third fastest time for the second weekend in a row, Chilton will start from position nine in the first race tomorrow after incurring a six place grid penalty from the previous round at Oulton Park.
The VX Racing trio of Tom Onslow-Cole, Matt Neal and Fabrizio Giovanardi were remarkably close in qualifying - separated by only 6/1000ths of a second. The trio will start fourth, fifth and seventh - Colin Turkington's Team RAC BMW actually sneaking into sixth, ousting Giovanardi by 2/1000ths of a second.
Matt Jackson's BMW will start eighth tomorrow ahead of Andrew Jordan who recorded his best BTCC qualifying result of his rookie year in ninth. Local hero Gordon Shedden was disappointed to only record the 10th fastest time after scoring top four qualifying performances here at Knockhill in the previous two years.
The top 16 cars were covered by less than 1 second in qualifying.
Leading times, BTCC qualifying Knockhill (provisional):
1. Darren Turner (GBR), SEAT Sport UK/SEAT Leon TDI, 53.163s2. Jason Plato (GBR), SEAT Sport UK/SEAT Leon TDI, +0.133s3. Tom Chilton (GBR), Team Halfords/Honda Civic, +0.118s *4. Tom Onslow-Cole (GBR), VX Racing/Vauxhall Vectra VXR, +0.278s5. Matt Neal (GBR), VX Racing/Vauxhall Vectra VXR, +0.311s6. Colin Turkington (GBR), Team RAC/BMW 320si, +0.312s7. Fabrizio Giovanardi (ITA), VX Racing/Vauxhall Vectra VXR, +0.314s8. Matt Jackson (GBR), BMW Dealer Team UK/BMW 320si, +0.318s9. Andrew Jordan (GBR), John Guest/Honda Integra, +0.494s10. Gordon Shedden (GBR), Team Halfords/Honda Civic, +0.535s
* will incur six place penalty from previous round