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Plato heads MG 1-2 in first BTCC practice at Oulton Park

Saturday, June 08 2013

Jason Plato set the early pace along with team mate Sam Tordoff, as MG led the Hondas at Oulton Park in the first Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship practice session today (Saturday).

As usual, there was a rush to leave the pitlane at the start of the session, followed by an equally busy flurry of activity as the drivers returned to the garages after an exploratory lap of the circuit. A dry track bathed in June sunshine provided a perfect opportunity to optimise setups, especially with more of the same forecast for the entire weekend.

Ollie Jackson was quickly on the pace for local team Speedworks, but was displaced by the MGs of Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff, as well as Andrew Jordan and Frank Wrathall. Jordan's team mate Jeff Smith was in the wars, however, and a brief stoppage was called for.

When activities resumed, the works Hondas stepped up to challenge the MGs, with Gordon Shedden second and Matt Neal third. However it wasn't long before the session was stopped again, and when the green flag was waved once more there were little more than five minutes remaining.

Making the most of the few laps available were the MGs, as Tordoff moved up to third and Plato consolidated his advantage. Colin Turkington deposed Neal from fourth place, before Jordan stole the position. Tordoff then lapped a few tenths shy of his team mate's pace to return to second place as the chequered flag was waved.

Behind the MG 1-2, reigning champion Shedden led the Honda contingent, with Jordan fourth and Neal just behind Turkington's BMW. Dave Newsham headed Adam Morgan's Toyota, with the Frank Wrathall Avensis tenth behind Rob Austin.

The second practice session takes place at 12:45 today.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Practice One
1, Jason Plato, MG KX Momentum Racing, MG6, 1:26.227s
2, Sam Tordoff, MG KX Momentum Racing, MG6, +0.380s
3, Gordon Shedden, Honda Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic, +0.557s
4, Andrew Jordan, Pirtek Racing, Honda Civic, +0.715s
5, Colin Turkington, eBay Motors, BMW 125i M Sport, +0.767s
6, Matt Neal, Honda Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic, +0.954s
7, Dave Newsham, Speedworks Motorsport, Toyota Avensis, +1.284s
8, Adam Morgan, Ciceley Racing, Toyota Avensis, +1.321s 
9, Rob Austin, WIX Racing, Audi A4, +1.497s
10, Frank Wrathall, Dynojet, Toyota Avensis, +1.670s

Tickets for Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park on 8/9 June are available from £13, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.