Jason Plato wins Silverstone opener
MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save driver Jason Plato has won the opening BTCC race at Silverstone after getting the better of championship leader Colin Turkington in an early tussle.
Mat Jackson completed the podium in his Airwaves Racing Ford Focus having jumped fellow second row starter Sam Tordoff off the line.
It was Turkington’s BMW 125i M Sport that led into Copse for the first time after the eBay Motors star had immediately blasted by Plato’s pole-sitting MG6 as the lights went out.
Turkington couldn’t shake his title rival off, however, and on lap three an opportunistic Plato dived down the inside at Brooklands with a hugely impressive pass. He held on to take victory, and commented after the race: “I’m really pleased with the win. We’d like to do the same in race two – Colin didn’t look to get the best start but we still had give best into turn one. He knew I was committed to the move and I don’t think he wants to risk getting too involved with me. I’m up for a scrap though!”
There was absolutely no let up at the front in the early stages with six cars covered by little over a second. Jackson hauled his Focus on to the rear bumper of Turkington, whilst Tordoff’s MG fended off the VW duo of Alain Menu and Aron Smith. Despite getting very close to snatching second place from Turkington on the final tour, Jackson had to settle for a well-earned podium. The Airwaves Racing driver said: “Colin had more traction than me coming out of the corners and he really wanted to keep hold of second! We’ve got to move forward now, we’re going for the win in the next one.”
Despite the front runners producing close fought racing for the remainder of the contest there were no further changes to the top order.
The same couldn’t be said further down the field as seventh changed hands on several occasions with eBay Motors’ Rob Collard eventually coming out on top. His final manoeuvre was by Quantel Bifold Racing’s Marc Hynes but Collard’s penultimate pass on the Audi A4 of Rob Collard was particularly eye-catching. Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan rounded out the top ten.
There were feisty scraps throughout the chasing pack with Tom Ingram, Gordon Shedden, Jack Clarke, Matt Neal and Fabrizio Giovanardi seemingly swapping paint and positions at will. Honda Yuasa Racing’s Shedden and Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram made contact on two separate occasions, with the latter’s race eventually ending in the gravel after running wide at Copse.
Click here for the final classification