Plato piles on the pressure in FP2
Jason Plato has piled the pressure on his championship rivals by cruising to another fastest lap in FP2 at Oulton Park.
Although the Team BMR star was unable to match the speed shown earlier in the morning his one-lap pace was clearly faster than the chasing pack. Plato set a 1:25.968s lap time relatively early in the running before seemingly turning his attentions to race day set-up for the remainder of the session.
Despite the double champion currently showing pole position form he will be aware of this being a similar situation to one he faced at Donington Park earlier in this season. Having topped the timesheets in both practice sessions that day, Plato made a small mistake in qualifying which gifted pole position to team-mate Colin Turkington.
Plato is looking confident and focussed, however, suggesting he’ll be out to ensure lightening doesn’t strikes twice as he searches for his 48th career pole position in qualifying later this afternoon.
A number of drivers improved on their earlier times with Andrew Jordan and Andy Priaulx both laying down early markers. After trading blows for P1 early on the duo had to settle for second and third respectively, but both will have been pleased with their general performance.
Tom Ingram and Jack Goff backed-up their own displays from Free Practice One by again clocking times inside the top five, and both could be vying for surprise package honours during qualifying this afternoon.
The VWs of Colin Turkington and Aron Smith were next on the timesheets but they’ll be slightly concerned by their pace in relation to stablemate Plato.
Both Honda Yuasa Racing drivers were again the top ten with Adam Morgan’s Mercedes sandwiched between them in ninth. Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden were expecting a relatively tough Saturday with success ballast taking its toll on the two Civic Type Rs around the undulating 2.2-mile circuit, so the lower end of the top ten may be their realistic target later this afternoon.
The session was halted briefly mid-session and Daniel Welch’s Proton ended the 40 minutes of running with his car stranded at Knickerbrook with an unknown mechanical problem. There were only minor issues of note other than that although Kieran Gallagher’s Toyota failed to complete a flying lap, as did Alex Martin’s Dextra Racing Ford which suffered with a brake issue.
The 28 cars will be back on track for the all important qualifying session which takes place at 15:20 this afternoon. The entire session can be watched live on www.itv.com/btcc while the official BTCC social media feeds will provide updates throughout the running.