Jason Plato leads Subaru 1-2 in controlled Knockhill race one

Jason Plato leads Subaru 1-2 in controlled Knockhill race one

Jason Plato
Photo: Network Images

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).

Race result

POS NO CL DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
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