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Snetterton BTCC: Jason Plato beats Colin Turkington in race one

Jason Plato beat championship leader Colin Turkington to win the first British Touring Car race at Snetterton as battles raged behind.

Plato's Triple Eight MG led from pole from Turkington, while team-mate Sam Tordoff's challenge lasted only as far as Riches, where he ran off the road before pitting.

A fast-starting Alain Menu thus initially held third. But when the works Honda of Matt Neal dived by Tom Ingram's Speedworks Toyota at Montreal on lap three he quickly moved up to the back of the BMR VW Passat.

As Neal pressured Menu, Aron Smith's VW overtook Ingram at Brundle/Nelson, the Toyota losing enough momentum to be demoted several places. The rookie was running ninth on the final lap when his left front wheel came off and forced him out.

Neal made it by Menu into Murrays on lap four, the VW losing enough speed to allow Smith to draw alongside.

Smith then appeared to swerve at Menu on the main straight. Both continued, with Menu ahead, but Adam Morgan took the opportunity to dive by both into Montreal to snatch fourth in his Ciceley Mercedes.

Morgan then edged towards Neal, but could never get close enough to try a move. The Honda thus completed the podium, albeit more than 12 seconds behind second-placed Turkington.

Menu defeated Smith to take fifth, while Shedden - up from 11th on the grid in his Civic Tourer - took the flag close behind the second BMR machine.

Mat Jackson was the lead Motorbase Ford Focus driver in eighth, his team-mate Fabrizio Giovanardi coming home 13th after starting from the back.

Rob Collard also came through well, finishing ninth in his WSR BMW from row 10, while Jack Goff's Passat was the top soft-tyred runner in 10th.

After being allowed to start from the pitlane following his free practice crash, reigning champion Andrew Jordan just missed out on a point as he came through to 16th.

Results - 12 laps:                                     
Pos Driver               Team/Car              Time/Gap
 1. Jason Plato          MG                 23m500.060s
 2. Colin Turkington     WSR BMW                +1.924s
 3. Matt Neal            Honda                 +14.185s
 4. Adam Morgan          Ciceley Mercedes      +15.194s
 5. Alain Menu           BMR VW                +17.686s
 6. Aron Smith           BMR VW                +18.954s
 7. Gordon Shedden       Honda                 +19.590s
 8. Mat Jackson          Motorbase Ford        +21.042s
 9. Rob Collard          WSR BMW               +21.337s
10. Jack Goff            BMR VW                +23.038s
11. Rob Austin           RAR Audi              +27.651s
12. Warren Scott         BMR VW                +29.344s
13. Fabrizio Giovanardi  Motorbase Ford        +29.670s
14. Glynn Geddie         UA Toyota             +40.359s
15. Robb Holland         Rotek Audi            +40.899s
16. Andrew Jordan        Eurotech Honda        +41.239s
17. Martin Depper        Eurotech Honda        +41.487s
18. Marc Hynes           MG                    +41.633s
19. Jack Clarke          Motorbase Ford        +43.286s
20. Hunter Abbott        RAR Audi              +44.729s
21. Lea Wood             Houseman Toyota       +46.889s
22. James Cole           UA Toyota             +48.245s
23. Aiden Moffat         Moffat Chevrolet      +53.131s
24. Ollie Jackson        Welch Proton          +55.446s
25. Simon Belcher        Handy Toyota        +1m33.921s
26. Dave Newsham         AmD Ford            +2m02.181s
    Tom Ingram           Speedworks Toyota      11 laps
    Dan Welch            Welch Proton            8 laps
    Chris Stockton       BTC Chevrolet           8 laps
    Nick Foster          WSR BMW                 8 laps
    Sam Tordoff          MG                      8 laps
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