Power Maxed Racing's Jason Plato revels in his first British Touring Car Championship pole position since Knockhill 2017 after topping every session on offer during qualifying day at Silverstone.

The former two-time champion set the pace in both free practice sessions before narrowly egding BTC Racing's Chris Smiley by 0.055s to claim his 51st pole position in the series, and in the Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra.

"We’ve been pretty close this year, twice already," Plato told Crash.net. "Both times we could’ve had pole, we just didn’t get the laps. The pace has been there but we hadn’t turn into poles.

"It’s great, it’s lovely. The last two years I’ve had have been totally and utterly s**t. I knew it wasn’t me."

Despite arriving into qualifying as the driver the beat, Plato admitted he felt some degree of pressure during the 30-minute shootout after a change in track conditions towards the end of FP2 altered the feel of his Astra.

Nevertheless, Plato immediately stormed into P2 on his first flying lap before moving to the top of the timesheets with 10-minutes of the session to go.

"It’s really sweet to be back. It’s lovely. There was a bit of pressure on then because the track went slightly wonky for me," Plato continued.

"In the last 10 minutes of FP2, the track changed a bit. I wasn’t sure if we changed something in the car. I didn’t know if it was something we changed in the car, or the track.

"From the off in qualifying it was similar. It wasn’t quite back to where it was when it was working well but it wasn’t as bad as it was at the end of FP2.

"That put some slight pressure on the job actually. I think the circuit has rubbered in a bit and that might have cost us a bit of feel."

Having qualified on the front-row on two previous occasions so far this season, Plato admits he could well have won 'two, possibly three races' already in 2019, had it not been for his 'parking indiscretions' at Brands Hatch and Thruxton.

"It’s really great to get pole. It’s a lovely feeling in the team. I’ve got lots of people in the team who I’ve worked with for many years. There’s a great vibe," said Plato.

"I think we could have won races at Brands Hatch and we most certainly could have won races at Thruxton. I think I could have two wins there. But that was a parking indiscretion by me. I think there was two wins, possibly three, which I threw away.

"I don’t think this is necessarily the best chance. This is a good chance for sure and we’re going to be driving accordingly.

"Historically we’ve been good at getting the car in race trim. The engineers are thinking how we can change the edge slightly to make it more a race car."

 

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