Motorsport News - Touring
Plato wins Snetterton Race 1 to close on BTCC Championship lead
12th August 2012
Jason Plato has won the first of Snettertons three Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races to close in on the championship lead.
Plato, starting from second, took the lead at the first bend and was never headed in his KX Momentum Racing MG6. He also set the races fastest lap en route to this third win of the season.
Frank Wrathall, who started from pole position, took second in his Dynojet Toyota Avensis. He fell to third at the start but moved into second when Dave Newshams move on Plato for the lead cost his ES Racing.com Vauxhall Vectra momentum.
Newsham would cross the line in fourth after a ferocious scrap for third with Andrew Jordan on the final lap went the way of the Pirtek Racing Honda Civic driver.
Championship leader Matt Neal was fifth in his Honda Yuasa Racing Team Civic but only after fighting off Daniel Welch who was an impressive sixth in his Welch Motorsport Proton. Tom Onslow-Cole was next up in seventh in his eBay Motors BMW followed by Neals team-mate Gordon Shedden whod moved through from 22nd on the grid after problems in qualifying.
The result means Neal has stretched his lead to Shedden to four points while Plato has closed to within 18 points of the top having gone into the race trailing by 29.
Plato commented: Thats a good win for many reasons it shows weve moved the car on in the break, its moved me closer to the championship lead and it was hard work. I knew Dave would have a crack so it was important to rebuff him and in the end it cost him dear.
Wrathall added: "It wasn't the best of starts and I'm slightly disappointed with second as it would have been interesting to see if I could have takent he fight to Jason. But it's still a great result for the team."
Jordan said: "It was a robust last lap with Newsham but I've had that done to me I'd call it hard but fair. It was a bit of a messy end to a frustrating race for me."
Onslow-Coles team-mate Robert Collard should have taken eighth but his car cruelly stopped on the last lap. Instead ninth was Mat Jackson who gave Redstone Racings brand new NGTC-spec Ford Focus ST a hugely encouraging debut. He managed to nip past Lea Wood who took tenth in his BINZ Racing Vectra having impressively spent much of the race fighting the eBay BMWs before fading.
Of note, Tony Gilham took 14th in his first race in Thorney Motorsport's Vauxhall Insignia.
The race required a four-lap safety car period early on to retrieve the Team HARD. Honda Civic of Robb Holland and Adam Morgans Speedworks Motorsport Toyota which had crashed out at the Riches corner. Debutant Hollands car came to a rest on top of the barriers. Meanwhile it was a disappointing end to the race for Morgan who, having qualified fifth fastest, had also spun on the opening lap.
Elsewhere, Platos team-mate Andy Neate was back in 16th after spinning following contact with Chris Jamess ES Racing Vectra which later retired with rear-end damage. A broken driveshaft also forced home hope Ollie Jackson to stop his AmD Tuning.com VW Golf in the pit lane.
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