The 10th round of the 2013 British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park was a historic one for Triple Eight, as Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff lead home a comfortable first 1-2 finish for the team in MG machinery.
The first race of the day at the sunny Cheshire circuit saw Plato lead the 15-lap encounter from start to finish after a great start, although behind him Tordoff came under pressure from third placed-starter Gordon Shedden into turn one for the first time.
The reigning champion squeezed inside and the pair went side-by-side through Old Hall, but the MG rookie held the outside line to sneak back inside at Cascades, the pair of MG6s then pulling clear of the Yuasa Racing Honda Civic on their way to victory.
Behind the trio was where most of the drama unfolded as Dave Newsham began to slip back from fourth place in his Speedworks Toyota, Andrew Jordan surviving a moment under braking into the hairpin that narrowly avoided a collision before finally making his move on lap eight into Lodge corner.
However, the bigger distraction for Jordan was the stream of smoke that was trailing from the rear of his Eurotech Honda Civic, the problem initially believed to be exhaust related but in fact proving to be a very minor oil leak, although it did not slow the reigning Inependent champion down.
He continued in fourth place ahead of the rapid eBay Motors BMW of Colin Turkington, the 2009 BTCC champion repeating Jordan’s move a lap later on Newsham into Lodge.
KX Momentum Racing duo Plato and Tordoff were untroubled at the front as they eased out a three-second cushion over main rival Shedden, Plato taking his third win of 2013 by just over a second from Tordoff, the rookie continuing his impressive form by taking his best result of the season so far, while Plato now lies just three points off championship leader Neal.
Jordan’s car survived to finish fourth ahead of Turkington, while points leader Matt Neal – carrying the burden of 45kg of success ballast – held off the attentions of Mat Jackson for sixth, the Motorbase Ford Focus driver having made his way from 11th up to seventh place.
Newsham fell back to eighth from his fourth place on the grid, while a thrilling scrap behind kept the fans entertained; Tom Onslow-Cole suffered a wild sideways trip through the gravel after contact with Rob Collard‘s BMW at Druids which dropped the Team HARD driver to 15th, allowing Adam Morgan to slip through having previously been overtaken at Old Hall by Collard.
The WSR man tried to fight back, but despite a good exit from Lodge on the run to the line for the final time, Ciceley Racing‘s Morgan held onto ninth place ahead of Collard by 0.033s, Jeff Smith finishing right on their tail.
The Jack Sears Trophy fight was a race-long dice between Lea Wood and Liam Griffin, Wood having been barged aside at the hairpin by James Cole‘s Vauxhall Insignia before the Central Vauxhall Vectra driver lost the spot right at the death to Griffin’s Motorbase Ford by just 0.127s.
Post-race however, Griffin was given a one-second penalty for contact at Lodge when making the move, meaning that Wood was in fact awarded the class win.