Jason Plato led home a Subaru 1-2 in the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Knockhill, finishing ahead of team-mate Ash Sutton and BMW duo Colin Turkington and Rob Collard.
Before the race began there were issues for Motorbase’s Mat Jackson, who pulled into the pits with a mechanical issue, and Stewart Lines, who retired with a gearbox failure.
All four of the leading rear-wheel drive cars made a good start when the lights went out, leading to the early laps run in the order in which the drivers started the race.
Fifth-placed Tom Ingram tried valiantly to keep the Subaru of James Cole behind him but on lap 12 Cole got past Ingram for fifth after getting a better exit out of the hairpin. Ingram, who is carrying 39 kg of success ballast to Cole’s ballast-free car, then dropped back to finish five seconds adrift of Cole.
At the front Plato held station for the entire race, save for a brief swap of positions on the penultimate lap when he allowed Sutton past, although since the switch happened after the timing beam Sutton did not get a bonus point for leading. Later around the same lap Plato went up the inside of Sutton at the hairpin to retake the lead and claim his 96th career win.
Turkington and Collard had no real challenge to the pace of the leading Subarus, but third and fourth respectively sees both men move up in the drivers’ standings, with Turkington now leading the championship by five points from Collard.
Behind Cole and Ingram, seventh went to Power Maxed Racing’s Senna Proctor, who secured his best-ever BTCC result after race-long battles with initially Gordon Shedden and latterly Dave Newsham.
Eighth went to Ciceley Motorsport’s Adam Morgan, who got past Newsham on lap 22, ahead of Honda’s Matt Neal, who charged through the field from 21st on the grid.
BTC Norlin Racing’s Newsham dropped two places in the closing laps of the race and took the chequered flag in tenth, breaking into the top ten for the first time since Donington Park.
Elsewhere former points leader Shedden took 11th, having slipped back in the closing stages of the race, ahead of the leading MG of Josh Cook in 12th.
Having suffered in qualifying, BMW Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan could only manage 13th and as a result he is now 80 points adrift of the top of the championship.
Further down the order, Eurotech Racing’s Brett Smith had been running in 23rd but contact from Rob Austin on lap 14, whilst running three-wide with BTCC newcomer Rory Butcher into Duffus Dip, sent Smith off the circuit at Turn 3 and to the bottom of the field.
Race two takes place at 14:17 BST (15:17 CEST).
|1||99||M||Jason PLATO||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||24||21:06.158||52.190||1|
|2||116||M||Ashley SUTTON||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||24||0.216||52.208||2|
|3||4||M||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 125i M Sport||24||0.902||52.112||3|
|4||5||M||Rob COLLARD||Team BMW||BMW 125i M Sport||24||1.580||52.322||4|
|5||20||M||James COLE||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||24||11.188||52.486||6|
|6||80||Tom INGRAM||Speedworks Motorsport||Toyota Avensis||24||16.492||52.469||5|
|7||18||M||Senna PROCTOR||Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||24||21.946||52.880||7|
|8||33||Adam MORGAN||Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||24||28.348||53.043||10|
|9||25||M||Matt NEAL||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||24||29.167||52.642||21|
|10||17||Dave NEWSHAM||BTC Norlin Racing||Chevrolet Cruze||24||29.991||53.075||8|
|11||52||M||Gordon SHEDDEN||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||24||33.318||53.009||9|
|12||66||Josh COOK||MG Racing RCIB Insurance||MG6GT||24||33.606||52.833||11|
|13||77||M||Andrew JORDAN||BMW Pirtek Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||24||33.693||52.921||17|
|14||31||Jack GOFF||Eurotech Racing||Honda Civic Type R||24||35.046||52.876||15|
|15||40||M||Árón TAYLOR-SMITH||MG Racing RCIB Insurance||MG6GT||24||35.497||52.934||14|
|16||2||M||Tom CHILTON||Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||24||35.963||53.107||18|
|17||10||Ant WHORTON-EALES||AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts||Audi S3||24||37.352||53.170||13|
|18||28||M||Josh PRICE||A-Plan Academy||Subaru Levorg GT||24||41.054||53.164||19|
|19||22||Chris SMILEY||BTC Norlin Racing||Chevrolet Cruze||24||45.002||53.334||24|
|20||7||Stephen JELLEY||Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport||Ford Focus||24||45.206||53.306||20|
|21||24||Jake HILL||TAG Racing||Volkswagen CC||24||45.409||53.057||16|
|22||303||M||Matt SIMPSON||Simpson Racing||Honda Civic Type R||24||46.865||53.186||22|
|23||11||Rob AUSTIN||Handy Motorsport||Toyota Avensis||24||48.125||53.391||23|
|24||12||Mike EPPS||Autoaid / RCIB Insurance Racing||Volkswagen CC||24||49.114||53.283||28|
|25||6||Rory BUTCHER||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo||Ford Focus||24||51.457||53.425||25|
|26||16||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||24||52.138||53.326||27|
|27||30||Martin DEPPER||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo||Ford Focus||24||53.066||53.486||31|
|28||48||Ollie JACKSON||AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts||Audi S3||24||56.011||53.366||30|
|29||61||Will BURNS||Autoaid / RCIB Insurance Racing||Volkswagen CC||23||1 Lap||53.661||26|
|30||39||Brett SMITH||Eurotech Racing||Honda Civic Type R||23||1 Lap||52.982||29|
|R||3||Mat JACKSON||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo||Ford Focus||0||DNF||N/A||12|
|R||95||Stewart LINES||Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport||Ford Focus||0||DNF||N/A||32|