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BTCC NEWS 

Silverstone BTCC: Plato wins race 1 after Jackson retires

Plato wins after Jackson retiresJason Plato won the first British Touring Car race at Silverstone, but only after Mat Jackson was robbed in the late stages by mechanical failure.

Plato's works MG6 led from pole, while the WSR BMW of Rob Collard jumped through from row two to run second, with Jackson third.

Further back, things got fraught a little on lap two. Chris James (ES Racing Vauxhall Vectra) attacked Howard Fuller's Honda at Copse and the ensuing contact severely damaged the Vectra.

Meanwhile, contact between Andy Neate's MG6 and the Eurotech Civic of Andrew Jordan sent the Honda into the gravel at Becketts.

Unsurprisingly the safety car came out, during which time Tony Gilham also went off at Becketts.

After several laps behind the safety car, the race resumed with Plato holding off Collard.

Collard got too close to Plato at Copse on lap nine of 25, allowing Jackson to get a run on the BMW and snatch second approaching Becketts.

The NGTC Ford then put Plato under pressure before diving by into the lead at Brooklands on lap 11.

As Collard fell back, the top two pulled clear, with Jackson edging out his advantage to around a second with four laps to go.

But the new Ford was denied its first win when Jackson pulled off exiting Becketts, leaving Plato to take a comfortable victory.

Dave Newsham (ES Vectra) had jumped to fourth on lap one, then demoted Collard to lead the S2000 runners and took over second when the Ford retired.

He held off Aron Smith's S2000 Motorbase Focus to secure the runner-up spot.

Collard repassed a smoking Frank Wrathall (Dynojet Toyota Avensis) in the last third of the race, setting up a Toyota duel between Wrathall and Adam Morgan (Speedworks).

With Wrathall increasingly struggling, Morgan dived down the inside into Brooklands. Wrathall turned in and contact was made, both then heading for the pits.

That handed fifth to Rob Austin's Audi A4, which just held off the charging WSR BMW of Nick Foster, up from row seven.

All the problems of others allowed championship leader Gordon Shedden to take seventh, despite starting from row 10 in his works Civic. Along the way he had battled hard with Lea Wood's Vectra and had contact with Howard Fuller's Civic.

He nevertheless fared better than team-mate and closest title competitor Matt Neal. Having risen to ninth early on, Neal was forced out with turbo problems.

Results - 25 laps:

Pos  Driver           Team/Car             Time/Gap
 1.  Jason Plato      MG                 27m03.052s
 2.  Dave Newsham     ES Vauxhall          + 2.434s
 3.  Aron Smith       Motorbase Ford       + 3.292s
 4.  Rob Collard      WSR BMW              + 4.127s
 5.  Rob Austin       Austin Audi         + 15.472s
 6.  Nick Foster      WSR BMW             + 15.795s
 7.  Gordon Shedden   Honda               + 17.167s
 8.  Jeff Smith       Eurotech Honda      + 18.020s
 9.  Lea Wood         Wood Vauxhall       + 18.956s
10.  Tom Onslow-Cole  WSR BMW             + 19.184s
11.  Howard Fuller    Gilham Honda        + 21.062s
12.  Andy Neate       MG                  + 22.035s
13.  Will Bratt       Austin Audi         + 23.907s
14.  Ollie Jackson    AmD Volkswagen      + 42.205s
15.  Tony Hughes      Speedworks Toyota   + 42.367s
16.  Adam Morgan      Speedworks Toyota     + 1 lap

Retirements:

     Mat Jackson      Motorbase Ford        21 laps
     Frank Wrathall   Dynojet Toyota        20 laps
     Daniel Welch     Welch Proton          13 laps
     Matt Neal        Honda                 13 laps
     Tony Gilham      Thorney Vauxhall       2 laps
     Andrew Jordan    Eurotech Honda          1 lap
     Chris James      ES Vauxhall             1 lap
     Liam Griffin     Motorbase Ford          1 lap
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