BTCCTouring Cars

BTCC Snetterton Race Two: Plato Takes A Dominant Win

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Jason Plato increased his newly acquired championship lead taking a second British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) win at Snetterton in dominant fashion.

The only challenge Plato faced was from Mat Jackson, who started alongside him on the gird set by the race one result. Jackson held his Airwaves BMW around the outside of turn one at Riches, but pulled back in on the exit of the corner to fall in behind the Chevrolet.

While the front three, Plato, Jackson and Tom Chilton remained unchanged, Tom Onslow-Cole in the other Ford Focus had moved up to fourth, passing a slow starting James Nash off the start line. Nash's start had allowed several drivers past, including Steven Kane and Tom Boardman. Boardman, in the black Special Tuning UK SEAT slid across the nose of Nash's car, beginning a chain of events that would end three races and call on the safety car.

Boardman fought to maintain control of a now fishtailing SEAT Leon but lost the battle slipping backwards onto the track at the apex of the Bomb Hole. It was a scene not dissimilar to the accident that Nash touched off at the same corner last year. As Boardman backed across the circuit he was collected first by Paul O'Neill, then by John George in the other sponsored Integra. The impact between O'Neill and Boardman left both cars heavily damaged on track, while George tricycled his way back to the pit the right-rear wheel ripped off when George's attempt to avoid the errant SEAT by taking to the grass came up slightly short.

The aftermath of the Boardman/O'Neill accident.

The loss of three cars, and delays to some others, including Andy Neate who span off having successfully avoided the accident, helped Matt Neal, who had started in the back rows of the grid after his race once DNF. Having started 18th Neal had made his way to tenth by the end of the first lap.

The lengthy safety car period meant the race was extended to 21 laps, but Plato had no intention of spending the extra laps fighting for the lead. A good restart gave him a gap back to Mat Jackson, the Airwaves BMW suffering from the success ballast added after the first race.

A lap after the green flag fell both Team Aon Fords swamped past Jackson, one on either side as the trio raced down to Riches, Chilton having been fought off at Russell.

The Fords, after officials must have watched the two Toms – especially Onslow-Cole – galloping away from everything in race one, were given a smaller restrictor to try and reign in their advantage, but it showed little sign of having any affect as Onslow-Cole cruised up to fourth on the opening lap, driving past Sheddon on the Revett Straight.

Team Aon had a strong race with Chilton and Onslow-Cole

However, even nose-to-tail – taking advantage of any slipstream to be had – they couldn't make any impression on Plato's lead – the Cruze actually extending the lead to well over three seconds.

Still, once out of the car and interviewed Plato was still scathing of the perceived advantage enjoyed by the pair of Focuses, labelling them and their treatment a “farce” despite the fact that if anyone seemed to have a speed advantage it was him.

Steven Kane finished just off the podium, now with only one chance to maintain his record of having scored a podium one every race weekend this season. He led home a train of cars that fought back and forth for much of the race after the safety car was withdrawn, Jackson, Andrew Jordan, Rob Collard (who reportedly spent much of the first race holding the door on his WSR BMW closed), Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal each with less than a second separating them at the end of the race.

Nash, unscathed from the accident he began followed 1.7 seconds behind to score the final point in tenth. He will now start the final, reverse grid race from pole position, Ginetta Cars owner Lawrence Tomlinson drawing the maximum 10 in the reverse grid draw.

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James is our Diet-Coke fuelled writer and has been with TCF pretty much since day 1, he can be found frequenting twitter at @_JBroomhead
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