BTCC Knockhill Race 3: Boardman Takes Controversial Maiden Win

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Tom Boardman claimed his maiden British Touring Car Championship victory in the third race of the day at Knockhill, though he took the lead after contact with Jason Plato that put the reigning champion out of the race.

Plato started from pole position courtesy of the reverse grid and maintained his lead off the start. He then found himself defending from front row starter Boardman in the early stages. Boardman's turbo-powered Special Tuning SEAT was quicker in a straight line and he tried to pass Plato for the lead at Turn 1 on lap three. Plato held the inside line but Boardman cut back to the inside and made slight contact with the Chevrolet driver on the exit of the corner. This sent Plato's car flying into the infield and into a tyre barrier.

This brought the safety car out, but at the restart some of the field were caught out by Boardman slowing at the hairpin. This caused some drivers to make contact or take to the grass in avoidance. Debutant Aron Smith found himself hitting the back of 888 teammate James Nash, causing the young Irishman to stop on the track.

This  brought the safety car straight back out again, but Boardman maintained his lead once the race got going for good. However, Rob Collard's WSR BMW became stronger in the closing stages and clung onto the back of Boardman. He was unable to find a way through though and Boardman (who made his BTCC debut in 2001) hung on to win.

Tom Chilton had been running in third place but fell to sixth by the flag, allowing Frank Wrathall to take a second straight podium finish in the Dynojet Toyota. The Honda duo of Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden scrapped over fourth, but Neal held on.

Mat Jackson had worked his way up to seventh from the back of the grid, but ended his race when he hit Chilton under braking for the hairpin, damaging his front end. It brought an early end to a miserable weekend for Jackson, who was championship leader arriving in Scotland.

Andrew Jordan inherited seventh, ahead of Tom Onslow-Cole, Nick Foster and Alex MacDowall.

Shedden leads the standings by just one point from Neal. Jackson could only salvage one fastest lap point from the whole weekend, and is now 23 points behind Shedden. Three meetings remain – the first of which being Rockingham in two weeks' time.

Click here for race results

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Peter joined the TCF team in September 2010 and covers GP2 and GP3 along with WTCC and Formula Two. You can find him on twitter at @PeteAllen_
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