Knockhill BTCC: Plato marks 500th start with first win of 2016

Team BMR Subaru driver Jason Plato won the first race of the day at Knockhill, winning his 500th race in the British Touring Car Championship, crossing the line half a second clear of West Surrey Racing BMW’s Jack Goff.

Knockhill BTCC: Plato marks 500th start with first win of 2016
Pole position for Jason Plato, Silverline Subaru BMR Racing
Tom Ingram, Speedworks Motorsport
Colin Turkington, Silverline Subaru BMR Racing
Jack Goff, Team IHG Rewards Club
Ashley Sutton, MG Racing RCIB Insurance
Jason Plato, Silverline Subaru BMR Racing
Adam Morgan, WIX Racing
Rob Collard,Team JCT600 with GardX
James Cole, Silverline Subaru BMR Racing
Michael Epps, RCIB Insurance Racing

Plato made a comfortable getaway from pole ahead of the Speedworks Toyota of Tom Ingram to lead into Duffus Dip, while the West Surrey Racing BMWs of Sam Tordoff and Goff held station in third and fourth.

The first casualty of the race was Ciceley Racing’s Adam Morgan, whose Mercedes was tipped into a spin by the Honda of Matt Neal on lap one, and fell down the order.

Goff overtook teammate Tordoff for third on lap nine, while Dave Newsham simultaneously blasted past Matt Neal’s Honda for seventh in the Power Maxed Chevrolet Cruze.

Goff then closed down on Ingram’s Toyota, passing him for second at the hairpin at the end of lap 12, just as Team BMR‘s Colin Turkington made his way past the Motorbase Ford of Andrew Jordan for fifth after the two former champions had been battling hard throughout the first part of the race.

The race then settled down before two separate incidents took place within the space of a lap. First, Dan Welch in the Proton fired off Team BMR driver and owner Warren Scott at Scotsman, leaving Scott’s Subaru stranded in the gravel on the exit.

A lap later, Jeff Smith’s Eurotech Honda was spun around and into a luckless Morgan, which dropped Morgan even further down the order and would go on to finish in 22nd.

The safety car was then called which bunched the field up as Scott’s Subaru Levorg GT was recovered.

When the race resumed, Plato held on to take the win, while teammate Turkington was able to gain two spots, first passing the WSR BMW of Tordoff for fourth at Clark’s curve on lap 24, before passing Ingram’s Toyota for the final podium spot on the penultimate lap at the hairpin.

Plato’s win elevates him into the top ten of the championship, while Rob Collard loses his championship lead after finishing outside of the points in 17th.

Tordoff now assumes a six point lead in the drivers’ standings over Honda’s Neal, while Turkington is now up to fourth in the standings heading into Race 2.

Race 1 results - Top 10:

PosDriver Car Laps  Time  Delay 
Jason Plato Subaru 27 25'30.213  
Jack Goff BMW 27 25'30.716 0.503
Colin Turkington Subaru 27 25'31.216 1.003
Tom Ingram Toyota 27 25'32.588 2.375
Sam Tordoff BMW 27 25'32.994 2.781
Andrew Jordan Ford 27 25'34.247 4.034
Dave Newsham Chevrolet 27 25'35.478 5.265
Matt Neal Honda 27 25'37.818 7.605
Gordon Shedden Honda 27 25'38.356 8.143
10  Rob Austin Toyota 27 25'38.570 8.357

Neil Hudson / TouringCarTimes

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Series BTCC
Event Knockhill
Location Knockhill Racing Circuit
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