Knockhill BTCC: Jason Plato beats fellow Subaru driver Ash Sutton

Jason Plato claimed his first British Touring Car Championship victory of 2017 at Knockhill after he and team-mate Ash Sutton attempted to tactically trade the lead on the final lap

Knockhill BTCC: Jason Plato beats fellow Subaru driver Ash Sutton

Team BMR Subaru Levorg driver Plato snatched his 50th career pole with his final qualifying lap on Saturday, and converted that into a first corner lead at the start of Sunday's first race.

Plato and Sutton were quickest over the first couple of laps, but were soon caught by the WSR BMW 125i M Sports of Colin Turkington and Rob Collard.

Despite Turkington recording the fastest lap, that BMW resurgence proved short-lived as Plato and Sutton edged clear in the latter stages of the race.

Plato tried to allow Sutton to take the lead before the start of the final lap - to hand his team-mate a point for leading the race - but was still 0.053 seconds clear across the line.

Sutton did lead most of the final lap, but moved back over out of the final corner to allow Plato back through - the two-time champion claiming his first win since the opening Knockhill race a year earlier.

"We found something in qualify that we'd thought about all year but didn't have the data to back it up," said Plato, with the issue related to the differential.

"It's a completely different car.

"It's a shame we didn't get that switch around for the point - the timing wasn't quite there."

Turkington completed the podium, less than a second down on Plato, with Collard in tow as the top four finished well clear of the chasing pack.

The WSR BMW pair of Turkington and Collard now occupy first and second in the drivers' championship.

Best of the rest went to James Cole in BMR's third Levorg, after he overcame Tom Ingram's Speedworks Toyota Avensis after an entertaining mid-race scrap.

Ingram couldn't keep pace with the leaders and turned his attentions to keeping Cole at bay for fifth early on, which included a robust defence along the pit straight.

Cole ultimately forced a way through at the halfway point and gradually pulled away to secure fifth - matching his best finish in the championship.

The factory-backed Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra of rookie Senna Proctor claimed his best finish to date with seventh, some five seconds behind Ingram, while Adam Morgan (Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes A-Class) and a charging Team Dynamics Honda Civic Type R of Matt Neal were eighth and ninth.

Neal's advance from 21st on the grid was particularly impressive, and was helped by team-mate and erstwhile points leader Gordon Shedden moving over to let him by.

Shedden had dropped some five seconds to Morgan by the time he let Neal through, which left his team-mate little time to make any further progress.

But as Morgan and Dave Newsham squabbled for eighth, Neal caught the two with two laps remaining and managed to nestle between the pair before the finish in his Civic Type R.

Shedden, who started the race with maximum ballast, crossed the line in 11th and is now fourth in the points.

Result - 24 laps

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Jason Plato Team BMR Subaru 21m06.158s
2 Ash Sutton Team BMR Subaru 0.216s
3 Colin Turkington WSR BMW 0.902s
4 Rob Collard WSR BMW 1.580s
5 James Cole Team BMR Subaru 11.188s
6 Tom Ingram Speedworks Motorsport Toyota 16.492s
7 Senna Proctor Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall 21.946s
8 Adam Morgan Ciceley Racing Mercedes 28.348s
9 Matt Neal Dynamics/Honda Honda 29.167s
10 Dave Newsham BTC Racing Chevrolet 29.991s
11 Gordon Shedden Dynamics/Honda Honda 33.318s
12 Josh Cook Triple Eight/MG MG 33.606s
13 Andrew Jordan WSR BMW 33.693s
14 Jack Goff Eurotech Racing Honda 35.046s
15 Aron Taylor-Smith Triple Eight/MG MG 35.497s
16 Tom Chilton Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall 35.963s
17 Ant Whorton-Eales AmD Tuning Audi 37.352s
18 Josh Price Team BMR Subaru 41.054s
19 Chris Smiley BTC Racing Chevrolet 45.002s
20 Stephen Jelley Team Parker Racing Ford 45.206s
21 Jake Hill Team Hard Volkswagen 45.409s
22 Matt Simpson Dynamics/Honda Honda 46.865s
23 Rob Austin Handy Motorsport Toyota 48.125s
24 Michael Epps Team Hard Volkswagen 49.114s
25 Rory Butcher Motorbase Ford 51.457s
26 Aiden Moffat Laser Tools Racing Mercedes 52.138s
27 Martin Depper Motorbase Ford 53.066s
28 Ollie Jackson AmD Tuning Audi 56.011s
29 Will Burns Team Hard Volkswagen 1 Lap
30 Brett Smith Eurotech Racing Honda 1 Lap
- Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford Retirement
- Stewart Lines Maximum Motorsport Ford Retirement


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Knockhill BTCC: Plato claims 50th career pole, first of 2017 season

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