Jason Plato maintained his mid-season push in the British Touring Car Championship title race today by securing a pole-position double for rounds 13 and 14 at Knockhill.

The 33-year-old from Oxford boosted his prospects by outscoring series leader Yvan Muller at the last meeting, where he scored a victory at Donington Park, and now trails by just 20 points in the standings.

And Plato again put his Vauxhall team-mate Muller under pressure by ensuring he will start both tomorrow's races from the front of the grid on the championship's only visit of the year to Scotland.

Qualifying took place on a drying track following one of several showers to have fallen on the Fife circuit today, but the conditions proved no inconvenience to Channel 4 television presenter Plato.

He completed seven laps more than any other driver and his track time enabled him to clock a best effort of 55.449 seconds, which was 0.199secs faster than any of his rivals could manage.

Muller, of France, was second quickest and will be alongside Plato for both races as Vauxhall, who have dominated the campaign and can wrap up the manufacturers' crown tomorrow, provided the top four drivers on each grid.

"This is a very important qualifying result for us," said Plato, who has achieved three victories already this season.

"The track conditions were constantly changing but I just stayed out there getting the feel of the track.

"I could sense in the last 10 minutes that some of the other guys were starting to panic but I knew the grip would be there."

James Thompson, who drives for Vauxhall's 'satellite' team Egg:Sport, also improved his title chances at Donington with a win in the sprint race but has it all to do from third spot in both events tomorrow.

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