Frank Wrathall took the first pole position of his British Touring Car career at Snetterton in his Dynojet run Toyota Avensis.
The 25 year old from Preston lapped the Norfolk circuit in a best time of 1m57.595s to deny the KX Momentum MG of Jason Plato by just 0.015 seconds. Plato had topped the standings for much of the session and looked to be comfortably on the way to his third pole position of the season. Wrathall first showed signs that he was a contender for pole roughly half way through the session by setting the fastest time but Plato swiftly responded going almost half a second faster to reclaim top spot. Wrathall was undeterred and with around five minutes remaining retook provisional pole position. Try as he might Plato could do nothing to overturn the slender margin and was forced to settle for second position but left the crowd in no doubt that he was pushing for pole as he took a couple of excursions off the race track in the closing moments as he tried to displace Wrathall.
Dave Newsham was third in the ES Racing Vauxhall Vectra, less than a tenth of a second shy of Wrathall’s pole lap. Andrew Jordan will join Newsham on the second row of the grid after a last gasp lap put him fourth.
There were impressive runs from Adam Morgan in the Speedworks prepared Toyota and Dan Welch in the Proton who were fifth and sixth respectively.
Championship leader Matt Neal was seventh ahead of Lea Wood in eighth. Tom Onlsow-Cole was the fastest of the ebay Motors BMWs in ninth, with Jeff Smith tenth.
Outside of the top ten Mat Jackson had a solid session in the brand new NGTC spec Ford Focus for Redstone Racing, ending sixteenth fastest.
However, there was more disappointment for championship contender Gordon Shedden as he failed to set a competitive lap time in the works Honda Civic. His car had suffered damage when it caught fire in the pit lane during the opening free practice session earlier in the day and although the team were able to get the car out on track, it was clear that the car was running at far from one hundred per cent and as a result Shedden will start the first of tomorrow’s three races from the back of the grid.
For the full qualifying classification, click here.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hobley