Plato wins wet race one
Jason Plato secured his seventh race win of the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season with an exemplary drive in treacherous conditions at Brands Hatch. Andrew Jordan maintained his championship lead with fifth place, whilst Colin Turkington’s title dreams ended in tatters after a first lap crash.
Plato led from start to finish and coped comfortably with an early safety car period to streak away from his rivals and take a dominant win – the 81st of his career. The MG’s main challenger turned out to be Gordon Shedden who had blasted from fourth on the grid to second on the opening lap.
Those early moments also brought an end to Turkington’s championship challenge following a disastrous incident for the three eBay Motors cars. With spray flying everywhere as the huge grid roared down Paddock Hill Bend for the first time, Turkington and his team-mate Rob Collard had a coming together. The Ulsterman’s BMW spun around and was collected by the third team car of Nick Foster. The 2009 champion was out of the race and out of the championship, with Collard being the only BMW able to continue.
The safety car was called for on lap three after Rob Austin fired his Audi A4 into the tyre barrier at Paddock Hill Bend and there was more drama for the team shortly after the restart when the Toyota of Ollie Jackson tipped the impressive Jake Hill into a spin.
With Plato and Shedden extending a gap at the front of the field, young Sam Tordoff settled into third while series leader Jordan fended off the Airwaves Racing Ford Focus of Tom Onslow-Cole. Pirtek Racing’s Jordan endured a heart in mouth moment on lap seven when he slid wide through Graham Hill Bend. The 24-year-old managed to save the car but not before Onslow-Cole had got a run alongside his Honda Civic down Cooper Straight, before completing a passing move on the entry to Surtees. Importantly for the championship, Jordan regathered his composure and settled behind the Focus to bring the car home for some vital points.
Jordan’s fifth place was in some doubt late on, however, as Honda Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal had surged through the field from 16th to sixth by mid-distance. It was a brave and impressive drive from Neal, particularly following his recent broken finger and the huge accident he endured during qualifying yesterday. The three-time champ made a series of splendid moves during the race but try as he may, he was unable to get on terms with Jordan before the finish.
Collard recovered from his early moment to take seventh ahead of Adam Morgan’s Ciceley Racing Toyota. Those two had to fight off the flying Focuses on Mat Jackson and Aron Smith, the latter having blitzed through the field after his car was repaired following his free practice roll yesterday.
A special mention too for AmDTuning.com team boss and driver Shaun Hollamby, who claimed a win in the Jack Sears Trophy and his first ever championship point in the process.
Jordan has won the Independents’ drivers championship with his fifth place finish and now holds a 29-point lead over Shedden in the overall standings. Neal and Plato both remain in contention with two races remaining this afternoon.
2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Brands Hatch GP – Race one
1 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) 17 Laps
2 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) +5.209
3 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +10.151
4 Tom Onslow-Cole (Airwaves Racing) +12.603
5 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) +12.918
6 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) +13.495
7 Robert Collard (eBay Motors) +21.137
8 Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing) +21.561
9 Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) +22.256
10 Aron Smith (Airwaves Racing) +22.738
11 Dave Newsham (Speedworks Motorsport) +26.770
12 Jack Goff (RCIB Insurance Racing) +26.897
13 Daniel Welch (Welch Motorsport with Sopp + Sopp) +44.003
14 Jake Hill (Exocet Racing) +44.589
15 Shaun Hollamby (AmDTuning.com) +1:01.211
16 Tom Barley (RCIB Insurance Racing) +1:01.926
17 Aiden Moffat (PPCGB/Kraftwerk Racing) +1:14.092
18 Lea Wood (Wheel Heaven/Houseman Racing) +1:22.301
19 Liam Griffin (Addison Lee Motorbase) +1:25.957
– Ollie Jackson (Speedworks Motorsport) +12 Laps
– Warren Scott (Team BMR Restart) +12 Laps
– Rob Austin (WIX Racing) +15 Laps
– Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) +17 Laps
– Frank Wrathall (Dynojet) +17 Laps
– Nick Foster (eBay Motors) +17 Laps