A fabulous final Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race at Rockingham was won by Jason Plato, who beat Tom Ingram in a great fight for honours.
The Speedworks Toyota of Ingram held onto his pole position when the lights went out, Plato immediately diving inside Jack Goff‘s MG which was spun out in the battle heading into Deene.
Ingram held onto the lead of the race grimly as Plato launched an attack at Deene, the Toyota Avensis hanging tough on the outside to hold on to the advantage.
A safety car interruption soon brought a halt to the dicing down the pack, Hunter Abbott turning Mike Bushell‘s AmD Tuning Ford Focus into the barriers as both fought for track space on the exit of Deene.
On the restart, Ingram immediately came under attack from Plato once again but fought back on the inside into Yentwood, Colin Turkington and the soft tyre-shod Matt Neal sniffing for a way by also behind.
Ingram continued to then defend the inside line into Deene, but was finally caught out it seemed at the hairpin on lap 12. Plato took the place, but a heroic fightback was instantly achieved as he dived inside the Volkswagen CC again heading out of Pif Paf to regain the lead.
The maiden victory would however elude the former Ginetta GT4 Supercup champion, as Plato forced his way up the inside on lap 14 and this time made his move stick before a second safety car period was initiated by the stricken Eurotech Honda Civic of Jeff Smith.
A two-lap shootout was what would solve the race, but Plato survived a small mistake into Deene on the restart to hold on and take victory ahead of Ingram who claimed a fine first podium finish for himself and the Toyota Avensis squad.
Third went the way of Turkington, Neal fourth ahead of a charging Sam Tordoff for West Surrey Racing while Aron Smith made his way by Rob Austin‘s Audi in the second half of the race.
Championship leader Gordon Shedden made a move on the Motorbase Ford Focus of Mat Jackson in the closing laps for eighth, Josh Cook rounding out the top 10 to provisionally move out of touch in the Jack Sears Trophy.
Shedden now holds a six-point lead over Plato, the series next heading to Silverstone.