BTCC Brands Hatch Race 2: Plato Wins Again To Take Championship Lead

by Simon Paice

Silverline Chevrolet Celebrate As Jason Plato Crosses The Line To Win - Photo Credit:


Jason Plato has moved to the top of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship standings after taking his second win of the weekend during Round 26 at Brands Hatch, the Silverline Chevrolet driver once again leading from start to finish.

Starting on pole, a good start for Plato saw him lead into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time, closely pursued by Mat Jackson, Alex MacDowall and Tom Onslow-Cole. The opening few laps saw Plato break clear, while an early move for Onslow-Cole saw the Team Aon man move into third ahead of MacDowall, allowing him to pressure Jackson in the older Ford Focus for second.

Starting from the back meanwhile were Plato's championship rivals Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden, after their woes in the day's first race. Both started to climb through the field from the start, up to tenth and twelfth respectively after the opening lap.

Both drivers gained more places on the next couple of laps by passing WSR BMW's, Neal passing Rob Collard and Shedden passing Nick Foster and then Collard. The next target for the duo was Team Aon's Andy Neate, Neal getting by on lap six to take eighth, with Shedden following through two laps later.

Ahead, MacDowall started coming under pressure from fellow Chevrolet Cruze driver Paul O'Neill, but the Tech Speed driver didn't need to make a move though when MacDowall's race ended in dramatic fashion, his Silverline Chevrolet blowing up on the run to Surtees on the tenth lap.

At the front, Plato had no such troubles in his Chevrolet, the double series champion taking his eighth win of the season and with it a slender championship lead. Airwaves Racing's Jackson came home second, while Onslow-Cole finished third for his first podium of the season.

Taking a popular fourth was O'Neill, with Tom Chilton continuing Team Aon's good day in fifth. James Nash took sixth, with Honda pair Neal and Shedden taking some valuable points in seventh and eighth. Neate and Foster completed the top ten, ahead of Tom Boardman, Michael Caine and the top NGTC finisher Frank Wrathall.

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