Plato wins race three at Thruxton

Jason Plato maintained his British Touring Car Championship lead by winning the final race of the day at Thruxton

Plato wins race three at Thruxton

It took Plato six laps to hunt down and pass polesitter Dave Pinkney, who had gained an early break as the chasing pack indulged in some spectacular door-to-door racing in the opening laps.

Pinkney had gamely resisted Plato's initial challenges, allowing Gordon Shedden and Mike Jordan to close right in on the SEAT.

The trio stayed together after passing Pinkney, but Plato was fast enough to resist Shedden to the flag, while Jordan slipped out of their slipstream in the closing laps.

Race one and two winner Fabrizio Giovanardi could only get to fourth after being put back to 10th on the reverse grid. By the time he overtook Pinkney, the top three had pulled away.

He then came under pressure from Darren Turner, who had charged through to fifth from the back of the grid, and champion Matt Neal. The latter managed to repass Turner on the final lap, but could not get around Giovanardi for fourth.

The RAC BMWs looked like victory contenders after strong starts but both lost ground in the opening lap dicing. Colin Turkington then pitted from fourth with an early puncture, while Tom Onslow-Cole had a spin at the chicane while tussling with Neal.

Pos Driver Make Time 1. Jason Plato SEAT Leon 21:45.119 2. Gordon Shedden Honda Civic + 1.413 3. Mike Jordan Honda Integra + 4.966 4. Fabrizio Giovanardi Vauxhall Vectra + 7.295 5. Matt Neal Honda Civic + 7.472 6. Darren Turner SEAT Leon + 7.881 7. Gareth Howell SEAT Toledo Cupra + 12.459 8. Tom Chilton Vauxhall Vectra + 17.421 9. Jason Hughes MG ZS + 26.642 10. Tom Onslow-Cole BMW 320si E90 + 28.202 11. Matt Allison SEAT Toledo Cupra + 31.441 12. John George Honda Integra + 31.730 13. Dave Pinkney Alfa Romeo 156 + 33.679 14. Erkut Kizilirmak Vauxhall Astra + 35.075 15. Martyn Bell BMW 320i E46 + 50.599 16. Simon Blanckley Honda Integra + 55.569 17. Colin Turkington BMW 320si E90 +1:16.437 Not classified/retirements: Richard Marsh Alfa Romeo 156 Chris Stockton Lexus IS200 Rick Kerry BMW 120D 

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