Plato claims first win of 2016 season in Knockhill Race 1

Team BMR’s Jason Plato has taken his first win of the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season at Round 19 of the championship in Knockhill.

Before Race 1 started, there was a minute’s silence to commemorate the passing of the first BTCC Champion Jack Sears, who passed away earlier this week at the age of 86.

Plato led right from the start and controlled the race from lights-to-flag, building a good gap ahead of Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram and Team JCT600 with GardX’s BMW of Sam Tordoff in the early laps of the race.

Plato’s team-mate Colin Turkington was embroiled in a battle with Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan for the majority of the first half of the race where the pair were battling for fifth place.

Turkington did manage to get ahead of Jordan in the latter half of Race 1 into fifth and set the fastest lap of the race, breaking his race lap record of a 52.094 in the BMW in 2014 with a 51.982 on Lap 14 in the Subaru Levorg.

Warren Scott caused the only Safety Car of the race when his Subaru Levorg stopped on the circuit. Plato in his five-hundredth start became the eleventh different winner of the 2016 season and claimed his ninety-fifth overall win in the BTCC.

Credit: BTCC Media
Credit: BTCC Media

The IHG Rewards Club BMW of Jack Goff was second, ahead of Turkington, who claimed the final podium spot in third. Ingram and Tordoff were fourth and fifth respectively, while Jordan’s Ecoboost Ford Fiesta finished in sixth place.

BTCC-returnee Dave Newsham in the Power Maxed Racing Chevrolet Cruze finished seventh, while the Honda Yuasa Racing pair of Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden and Handy Motorsport’s Rob Austin complete the top ten finishers for Race 1.

Tordoff’s team-mate Robert Collard finished in seventeenth place, while Matt Simpson, Team BKR’s Aron Smith, Scott and Eurotech’s Jeff Smith all failed to finish the first race at Knockhill.

Sam Tordoff now leads the Drivers’ Standings ahead of his Team JCT600X with GardX team-mate Robert Collard by 6 points coming into the second race of the day at Knockhill at 14:17pm.