Oulton Park BTCC: Jason Plato wins red-flagged first race

Jason Plato claimed his third win of the season with victory in a red-flagged opening British Touring Car Championship race at Oulton Park

Oulton Park BTCC: Jason Plato wins red-flagged first race

The Team BMR driver converted pole position into a comfortable triumph with a faultless drive in Cheshire, bagging pole for race two in the process.

As he raced clear to a lead of over three seconds, Matt Neal was left to fend off Andy Priaulx for second.

Priaulx looked as though he might steal second at the start with a superior launch in his WSR BMW 125i M Sport, but Neal held on round the outside of Old Hall and retained the place into Cascades.

Three-time world champion Priaulx had to hold off Andrew Jordan's MG in the opening laps as his tyres came up to temperature, and once he made third place his own he started to arrow in on the Civic Type-R in front.

Priaulx mounted serious pressure in the closing stages but could not force a mistake from Neal, though any chance of a late move was taken away when Alex Martin tagged Stewart Lines on the run out of Deer Leap and sent the Toyota Avensis spinning into the barriers that protect the start of the pitlane barrier.

Lines vacated his Houseman Racing car unaided, and the race was red-flagged.

Behind the top three Jordan claimed a comfortable fourth having held station just adrift of the Neal/Priaulx battle throughout, ending up as the lead driver on the soft-compound Dunlop tyre.

Last year's champion Colin Turkington ran fifth at first but suffered a brake failure on lap two, which later caused him to run straight on at the hairpin and limp to the finish.

That allowed soft-shod Aron Smith, who passed Shedden at Old Hall with a few laps remaining, to take fifth, while Shedden (also on softs) clinched sixth after holding off the second MG of Jack Goff, Tom Ingram's Speedworks Toyota and Sam Tordoff in the second WSR BMW.

Shedden will start alongside Plato on the front row for race two, ahead of Jordan and Priaulx. Turkington was only able to set the 12th-fastest time.

RESULTS - 14 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Jason Plato Team BMR Volkswagen 21m14.936s
2 Matt Neal Honda Honda 1.322s
3 Andy Priaulx WSR BMW 2.789s
4 Andrew Jordan MG MG 3.696s
5 Aron Taylor-Smith Team BMR Volkswagen 5.187s
6 Gordon Shedden Honda Honda 6.439s
7 Jack Goff MG MG 7.582s
8 Tom Ingram Speedworks Motorsport Toyota 8.807s
9 Sam Tordoff WSR BMW 10.432s
10 Dave Newsham Power Maxed Chevrolet 12.527s
11 Adam Morgan Ciceley Racing Mercedes 13.924s
12 Josh Cook Power Maxed Chevrolet 15.197s
13 Rob Collard WSR BMW 16.841s
14 Martin Depper Eurotech Honda 17.870s
15 Rob Austin Rob Austin Racing Audi 20.001s
16 Warren Scott Team BMR Volkswagen 21.296s
17 Aiden Moffat Aiden Moffat Racing Mercedes 22.607s
18 Hunter Abbott Rob Austin Racing Audi 23.896s
19 Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda 24.695s
20 Daniel Welch Welch Motorsport Proton 26.058s
21 Alex Martin Team Parker Ford 27.127s
22 Derek Palmer Jr. Infiniti Infiniti 28.493s
23 Simon Belcher Handy Motorsport Toyota 30.610s
24 Mike Bushell AmD Ford 31.965s
25 Colin Turkington Team BMR Volkswagen 33.753s
- Andy Wilmot Welch Motorsport Proton Retirement
- Stewart Lines Houseman Racing Toyota Retirement
- Kieran Gallagher Team Hard Toyota Not started


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Oulton Park BTCC: Jason Plato tops three-way fight for pole

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