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Plato wins again, Turkington seals title

Colin TurkingtonColin Turkington clinched the British Touring Car Championship as Jason Plato won a chaotic final race of the season at Brands Hatch.

Turkington's second place in the race was enough to give the WSR BMW driver his first BTCC title by just five points from Plato, who became only the second man in championship history to win three races in a day.

Fabrizio Giovanardi, who started the race only four points behind Turkington in the title battle, was beaten to the final podium spot by the Arena Ford of Tom Chilton and finished third in the championship as a result, nine points behind Turkington.

A sensational race began with an incredible first lap. Vauxhall polesitter Matt Neal lost the lead to Jonathan Adam's Motorbase BMW at Surtees on the opening lap, but immediately grabbed it back as the pair made contact, sending Adam spinning onto the grass.

Just yards behind, Adam's team-mate Rob Collard was spun into the barriers after contact from Chilton. The chaos allowed Chilton to move into second ahead of Giovanardi and Turkington.

After a number of hairy moments involving the leading pack, Turkington grabbed second from Chilton at Westfield on lap four, swiftly followed through by Giovanardi, as all the while Plato caught the pack, having started eighth on the grid.

Turkington led at Druids on lap nine, elbowing Neal onto the grass at the exit of the corner. Giovanardi made it by too with Plato passing his old rival at Sheene on the same lap.

Plato would be leading by a few corners later. Giovanardi and Turkington hit each other at Clearways, slowing the BMW and Vauxhall out of the corner and allowing Plato to out-drag the pair and drive around the outside of them at Paddock.

After that Plato was never headed as he drove off to his seventh win of the year. Turkington and Giovanardi though, repeated their antics on lap 10, orange BMW squeezing red and white Vauxhall towards the pit wall, allowing Chilton to split the pair.

Behind the main battlers, Neal finished fifth with WSR team-mates Stephen Jelley and Anthony Reid next up, ahead of Adam.

Pos  Driver               Car          Time/Gap
 1.  Jason Plato          Chevrolet  28m48.039s
 2.  Colin Turkington     BMW          + 1.465s
 3.  Tom Chilton          Ford         + 1.739s
 4.  Fabrizio Giovanardi  Vauxhall     + 2.984s
 5.  Matt Neal            Vauxhall     + 3.575s
 6.  Stephen Jelley       BMW         + 11.102s
 7.  Anthony Reid         BMW         + 12.534s
 8.  Jonathan Adam        BMW         + 13.840s
 9.  Gordon Shedden       SEAT        + 13.944s
10.  David Pinkney        Honda       + 14.137s
11.  Mat Jackson          Chevrolet   + 15.496s
12.  Tom Onslow-Cole      Ford        + 19.659s
13.  Matthew Hamilton     Honda       + 20.725s
14.  Johnny Herbert       Honda         + 1 lap


     Paul O'Neill         Honda      7 laps
     Martyn Bell          Honda      6 laps
     Harry Vaulkhard      Chevrolet  6 laps
     Andrew Jordan        Vauxhall   0 laps
     John George          Honda      0 laps
     Rob Collard          BMW        0 laps

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