Jason Plato led a comfortable 1-2 for the MG KX Momentum Racing squad in the opening race at Silverstone, while Matt Neal recovered to a hard-fought podium.
Starting from pole position, Plato was serene from lights-to-flag as he claimed his long-awaited fifth win of the season – his first since Oulton Park in June – leading home team-mate Sam Tordoff by 1.4s.
Tordoff had to recover to the runner-up spot however after he got himself all crossed up heading through Copse battling his team-mate on the opening lap, allowing Dave Newsham and Colin Turkington to sneak through.
Newsham’s third place was short-lived as he lost the back end of his Speedworks Toyota Avensis heading through Brooklands, dropping to 12th in the cloud of smoke.
Tordoff then quickly made his way past Turkington’s eBay Motors BMW heading into Copse on lap three, after which a safety car break in proceedings took place to remove the cars of Nick Foster and Andy Neate from the gravel after they tangled on the main straight.
On the restart, the pair of MG6s were untouchable as they stretched out a lead at the front, but the men on the charge were the Honda Civic duo of Neal and championship leader Andrew Jordan. Neal made his way past Frank Wrathall‘s Dynojet Toyota at Becketts under braking, a move he would become fond of during the race.
Jordan followed Neal up to the back of the eBay BMWs of Turkington and a rapid-starting Rob Collard, and watched the triple champion repeat the his Becketts move on Collard during lap 12 before dispatching Turkington for third shortly afterwards.
Turkington challenged Neal in the dying laps in a bid to reverse the situation, but came narrowly short of beating the Honda to the line by just 0.008s in the drag race as they took the flag. Collard and Jordan were next up, the latter still 29 points clear in the championship over Neal who leaps up to second.
Adam Morgan was seventh ahead of the charging Airwaves Racing Fords of Aron Smith and Mat Jackson, the top 10 rounded out by a recovering Newsham.
Gordon Shedden could not make up enough ground from 15th on the grid, winning a fight with Wrathall, Rob Austin and Dan Welch for 11th.
Jack Goff was an unfortunate retirement from the race after a rough opening couple of tours damaged his Team HARD Vauxhall Insignia following contact from Jackson, while Will Bratt was the unlucky casualty from Foster and Neate’s incident.
Lea Wood took another Jack Sears Trophy victory, helped by his only rival Liam Griffin being forced to pit with mechanical problems.
– Race two will take place at 14:32, and you can follow all the action with thecheckeredflag.co.uk and on Twitter with @tcfBTCC.