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Jordan denies Plato BTCC pole position at Brands Hatch

Saturday, March 29 2014

Reigning Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Champion Andrew Jordan stole pole position away from Jason Plato in qualifying for this weekend's opening round at Brands Hatch today (Saturday). Once again it was a highly competitive session, with the top 16 places covered by half a second.

The rear wheel drive cars set the early pace, with Colin Turkington and Rob Austin dicing with Rob Collard and Nick Foster as the rest warmed up. Turkington's efforts were closing in on Jason Plato's headline time from the opening session, suggesting that pole position would be much quicker.

Adam Morgan was the first front wheel drive car to challenge this order, as Collard and Matt Neal went quicker than Turkington. Neal set the fastest time of the meeting so far, and as Aron Smith took third place, it was clear that there would be no let up in the action.

Gordon Shedden posted the second fastest time before Plato resumed his place at the top of the order. Andrew Jordan had also sneaked into the top four, as Collard was shuffled down to sixth. The top of the order settled for a while, whilst further back, Alain Menu entered the top ten.

Austin and Tom Ingram made improvements at the halfway stage, the latter setting the fastest first sector so far during his debut event. Then Plato lapped quicker than he had all weekend so far, and did so again. However so close was the field, that his margin of superiority over the rest was mere hundredths. Indeed, the top 16 was within half a second at this stage.

With five minutes remaining, Jordan moved up to second place, before demoting Plato from provisional pole position. Turkington also improved, in his case to third, pushing the works Hondas back. Jordan pitted, and with Plato throttling back, pole position was his.

Ingram qualified an excellent sixth on his debut in the Speedworks Toyota, ahead of the BMR Passats of Smith and Menu. Mat Jackson outqualified his champion team mate by nine places, whilst Collard completed the top ten, separated by barely more than quarter of a second.

"I had a pretty big moment at Surtees," Jordan admitted. "It's been a cracking session, so close, the weather's great and there will loads of people here tomorrow!"

Race one will take place at 11:47am tomorrow.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Qualifying
1, Andrew Jordan, Pirtek, Honda, 48.228s
2, Jason Plato, MG, +0.012s
3, Colin Turkington, eBay Motors, BMW, +0.070s
4, Matt Neal, Honda Racing, +0.093s
5, Gordon Shedden, Honda Racing, +0.143s
6, Tom Ingram, Speedworks, Toyota, +0.176s
7, Aron Smith, BMR, VW, +0.191s
8, Alain Menu, BMR, VW, +0.219s
9, Mat Jackson, Airwaves, Ford, +0.251s
10, Rob Collard, eBay Motors, BMW, +0.259s

Tickets for the opening round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch on 29/30 March are available on the gate for £14 on Saturday and £32 on Sunday, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.