Silverstone BTCC: Plato wins race 1 after Jackson retires
|By Kevin Turner||Sunday, October 7th 2012, 11:34 GMT|
Jason 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