BTCC Rockingham: Jason Plato denies Tom Ingram maiden win

Jason Plato denied Tom Ingram a maiden British Touring Car Championship victory after a thrilling dice in the final race at Rockingham

BTCC Rockingham: Jason Plato denies Tom Ingram maiden win

Plato took his 93rd win in the BTCC from Ingram and Colin Turkington, after a race-long battle that had the three cars nose-to-tail throughout.

Ingram led from pole position for the reversed-grid race, with Turkington getting the jump on second-placed starter Jack Goff, only to leave the door open for Plato into Deene.

Speedworks Motorsport driver Ingram put a small amount of breathing space between his Toyota Avensis and Plato's Team BMR Volkswagen CC on the opening lap, but it took Plato until the end of the next tour to be locked onto the bumper of his former KX Akademy protege.

It seemed as though it would be a matter of when, not if, Plato could pass Ingram, but after rebuffing an attempt from Plato at Deene on lap four the sophomore racer wised-up to the challenge.

He held a defensive line into the hairpin at the start of the next few laps, and was largely untroubled until the first of two safety cars was called to deal with Mike Bushell's Ford Focus, which was in the gravel on the exit of Deene.

When racing resumed two laps later Plato tapped the rear of Ingram's car at Deene, but leader gathered up his sideways Avensis and held onto the place into Yentwood.

Two laps later Plato looked like he'd made the decisive move with a bold pass at Deene, and made it stick through Yentwood.

But he ran slightly wide through Chapman, allowing Ingram to cut back underneath him into Pif Paf and regain the lead into Gracelands.

The pressure never relented though, and eventually it told - Deene always looked like being the decisive corner and Plato showed why with another successful dive to the inside with three laps to go.

Ingram had no rebuttal, but he survived a second restart - the safety car was required again for Jeff Smith's stricken Eurotech Honda Civic at Tarzan - to claim his first BTCC podium, with second.

Third place went to Turkington, who shadowed Plato throughout Ingram's time in the lead but only ever had one half-chance to get past.

Matt Neal managed the soft tyres on his Honda Civic Type-R to clinch fourth, while Sam Tordoff passed Aron Smith on the final lap to end a difficult weekend for WSR on a relative high.

Two-time Rockingham race winner Rob Austin survived opening-lap contact with Goff - who was spun to the back of the field at Deene - and a later incident with Josh Cook to finish seventh in his Audi A4.

Gordon Shedden got the better of Mat Jackson on the final lap to battle to eighth with 75kg of ballast and soft tyres, preserving his championship lead.

RACE THREE RESULT

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Jason Plato Team BMR Volkswagen 19 29m22.424s
2 Tom Ingram Speedworks Motorsport Toyota 19 1.234s
3 Colin Turkington Team BMR Volkswagen 19 1.871s
4 Matt Neal Honda Honda 19 4.838s
5 Sam Tordoff WSR BMW 19 5.264s
6 Aron Taylor-Smith Team BMR Volkswagen 19 5.830s
7 Rob Austin Rob Austin Racing Audi 19 6.212s
8 Gordon Shedden Honda Honda 19 8.450s
9 Andrew Jordan MG MG 19 9.810s
10 Josh Cook Power Maxed Chevrolet 19 10.309s
11 Martin Depper Eurotech Honda 19 13.013s
12 Nick Foster WSR BMW 19 14.094s
13 Alex Martin Team Parker Ford 19 14.647s
14 Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 19 14.984s
15 James Cole Motorbase Ford 19 18.021s
16 Stewart Lines Houseman Racing Toyota 19 18.487s
17 Nicolas Hamilton AmD Audi 19 19.702s
18 Adam Morgan Ciceley Racing Mercedes 19 25.505s
19 Jack Goff MG MG 18 1 Lap
- Aiden Moffat Aiden Moffat Racing Mercedes 18 Retirement
- Hunter Abbott Rob Austin Racing Audi 18 Retirement
- Derek Palmer Jr. Infiniti Infiniti 18 Retirement
- Kieran Gallagher Team Hard Toyota 14 Retirement
- Warren Scott Team BMR Volkswagen 14 Retirement
- Daniel Welch Welch Motorsport Proton 13 Retirement
- Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda 13 Retirement
- Mike Bushell AmD Ford 6 Retirement
- Robb Holland Handy Motorsport Toyota 3 Retirement
- Dave Newsham Power Maxed Chevrolet 2 Retirement
- Rob Collard WSR BMW 0 Retirement

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Gordon Shedden 286
2 Jason Plato 280
3 Matt Neal 259
4 Colin Turkington 253
5 Andrew Jordan 240
6 Sam Tordoff 225
7 Adam Morgan 208
8 Andy Priaulx 205
9 Jack Goff 190
10 Rob Collard 171
11 Aron Taylor-Smith 152
12 Tom Ingram 140
13 Rob Austin 115
14 Mat Jackson 105
15 Josh Cook 83
16 Dave Newsham 69
17 Aiden Moffat 63
18 Martin Depper 46
19 Jeff Smith 29
20 Hunter Abbott 23
21 Warren Scott 23
22 James Cole 11
23 Mike Bushell 10
24 Nick Foster 4
25 Barry Horne 3
26 Robb Holland 2
27 Simon Belcher 1
28 Derek Palmer Jr. 1
29 Daniel Welch 1
30 Kieran Gallagher 1

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BTCC Rockingham: Gordon Shedden wins ahead of lively race
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