MG’s Jason Plato led an MG 1-2 in the first British Touring Car Championship race at Oulton Park, as team-mate Sam Tordoff finished in second and Honda’s Gordon Shedden took third.
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The result was MG KX Momentum Racing’s first 1-2 and the pair controlled their pace throughout the race to beat a lonely Shedden by three seconds.
Behind the podium finishers, Dave Newsham initially looked as though he would be able to convert his strong qualifying into a top four finish but he soon began to fall into the clutches of Andrew Jordan in the Pirtek Racing Honda, who made his way past on lap seven.
Newsham fell further back from there, relinquishing positions to Colin Turkington, Matt Neal and Mat Jackson before finishing in eighth.
Jordan’s machine began to emit smoke as he completed the move on Newsham, and it is unclear whether he will be able to make the second race. He was nevertheless able to resist the urges of Turkington, who made up two positions to finish fifth.
Neal and Jackson had a similar tussle slightly further back, with the Honda driver just holding off the latter who started his 100th race for Motorbase.
There were good fights further down the order as well. Adam Morgan claimed ninth after coming out on top in a race-long battle between himself, Rob Collard and Jeff Smith who had recovered from an off earlier in the race, whilst Tom Onslow-Cole had lead that group before going off after scrapping with Collard. Nick Foster was the best placed of the drivers running soft tyres, overtaking Dan Welch on the penultimate lap to finish 12th.
Having led the S2000 cars for 14 of the 15 laps, Lea Wood surrendered a Jack Sears Trophy win as Liam Griffin passed him on the final lap. Like much of the weekend, Wood had been racing against NGTC machines and survived a clash with James Cole at the Island hairpin, but Griffin saved his best until last to secure a fourth victory in the class.
Griffin was later given a one-second penalty for gaining an advantage on the final lap, which subsequently dropped him back behind Wood.
Race two starts at 14:30 BST.