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Plato outshines rivals to take BTCC race one at Oulton Park

Sunday, June 07 2015

Jason Plato has taken his third Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race win of 2015 at Oulton Park today (Sunday), after successfully fending off Matt Neal and Andy Priaulx at the start and pulling away from the field.

Priaulx jumped Neal at the start, but was unable to challenge Plato into Old Hall, and the Honda re-passed the BMW into Cascades. Andrew Jordan, Gordon Shedden, Colin Turkington and Aron Smith followed behind on a well-behaved opening lap.

Plato began to pull out a gap to the rest on lap two, recording the race's fastest lap in the process, as Priaulx was forced to go defensive whilst his tyres got up to temperature. Meanwhile further back, Alex Martin and Simon Belcher got together, forcing the latter to spin.

The BMR VWs of Smith and Turkington squabbled for sixth place, but the reigning champion dropped out of contention, and Smith began to target Shedden, who was having to protect his soft tyres by this stage. This left the top four clear of the rest, and with Plato revelling in his VW's handling, the battle here was for second place. Priaulx had by now got the BMW to his liking and he was putting Neal under huge pressure.

Smith was the first of the top ten to make a move, clearing Shedden into Old Hall on lap nine, and the subsequent bunching triggered a fight between Tom Ingram and Sam Tordoff for eighth place. Meanwhile Priaulx was having his best race since Brands Hatch and stalked Neal's Honda as the final third of the race got underway.

Priaulx was lining up his attack when Stewart Lines and Martin lightly contacted heading out of Deer Leap, and when Lines struck the pitwall, the safety car was called into action with just a few laps remaining. With work needed to repair the protective layer, the red flag was waved, handing the win to Plato, who will start race two at 3:32pm from pole position, with Shedden sharing the front row, followed by Jordan, Priaulx, Neal and Jeff Smith.

Afterwards, Plato said: "We're in the zone with the car, it takes a while to feel your way into to the car, and we're really getting to grips with it. We're making good progress, and I'm enjoying myself - with a great car underneath it flatters you. I made a good start, I don't think Andy got a particularly great one and it's easier to put a fast lap in when you have a clear track ahead of you."

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Race One
1, Jason Plato, Team BMR, VW CC, 13 Laps
2, Matt Neal, Honda Racing, Civic Type R, +1.322s
3, Andy Priaulx, WSR, BMW 125i M-Sport, +2.789s
4, Andrew Jordan, MG 888 Racing, MG6 GT, +3.696s
5, Aron Smith, Team BMR, VW CC, +5.187s
6, Gordon Shedden, Honda Racing, Civic Type R, +6.439s
7, Jack Goff, MG 888 Racing, MG6 GT, +7.582s
8, Tom Ingram, Speedworks, Toyota Avensis, +8.807s
9, Sam Tordoff, WSR, BMW 125i M-Sport, +10.432s
10, Dave Newsham, Power Maxed Racing, Chevrolet Cruze, +12.527s

Click here to view the full result.

Raceday tickets for the BTCC at Oulton Park on Sunday 7 June are available on the gate for £32, with free entry for children under 13. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.