SEAT Sport UK drivers Robert Huff and Jason Plato have qualified their SEAT Toledo Cupras in 5th and 10th positions respectively ahead of tomorrow’s Round 19 of the Green Flag MSA British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill.
Carrying success ballast following the team’s fantastic results at Croft, Jason and Rob made the most of their free practice sessions this morning to log as much Knockhill circuit data as possible, whilst at the same time developing a set-up for qualifying. This led to Rob equalling his best qualifying position of 5th with a banzai lap of the Knockhill track. Running with a heavier car, Jason found his chosen set-up for the 30 minute qualifying session didn’t work quite as well as he’d hoped, but a solid 10th position puts him in an excellent position tactically ahead of tomorrow’s race-day action.
Jason said: “The session went okay, but unfortunately we didn’t go as quickly as we did this morning as I think we went the wrong way with the set-up of the car. We took a bit of grip off the rear of the car to give it to the front and I think we took too much off the rear which meant I was sliding around quite a bit. The problem is around here that it’s all ‘nip and tuck’ and a couple of tenths either way can make a big difference. Having said that, starting from tenth puts us in good shape for the race, and I’ll obviously try and stay there and finish tenth. Like we’ve done before, we’ll use race one to gather more data to improve the car for race two - so the weekend starts now really. ”
Rob said: “I had a fantastic session. I went with a complete gamble with the set-up in the sense that I pretty much went with what Jason has been running and it worked out well. I struggled a bit for the first two runs but then on my final run I thought ‘sod it, I’m just going to go for it’. I was completely out of control around the first half of the track and somehow it came together and I found two tenths which around here is a million miles. I’ve also equalled again my best qualification of the year and it feels like every time I get in the car I’m getting quicker and quicker, so I’m really delighted.”
The first of three 22 lap BTCC races starts tomorrow at 11.00, the result of which will determine the grid positions for Race 2 – where the top 10 finishers start in reverse order. Race 2 starts at 13.50 and the results of that race will determine the grid positions for Race 3, which begins at 16.10.