Jason Plato took his third win of the 2012 British Touring Car Championship season, leading from start to finish, but all the action took place behind him, with Frank Wrathall taking his best result of the season in second and Andrew Jordan grabbing third on the final lap.
Wrathall was unable to take full advantage of his pole position, passed by Jason Plato’s Triple Eight MG and Dave Newsham’s Team ES Racing Vauxhall into Riches. Honda Racing Team’s Matt Neal jumped up one spot to sixth at the start passing Dan Welch’s Proton, which soon became fifth after Adam Morgan spun his Toyota Avensis out of fourth position.
Two laps later, the safety car was called as Morgan, fighting his way back up the order, made contact with Robb Holland’s Team HARD Honda Civic at Riches, with the two cars crashing off into the tyre barriers.
The safety car was out for a over 10 minutes, a full four laps as Robb Holland’s Civic was pulled out of the tyre wall.
At the restart on lap eight, Dan Welch battled hard against Matt Neal, passing him for fifth position, whilst Dave Newsham tried to pass Jason Plato around the outside at Riches at the start of lap nine. The move didn’t pay off, and Newsham lost ground, falling behind Frank Wrathall’s Toyota, allowing Plato to break away.
By this point, Gordon Shedden was up to tenth place after starting 22nd and last, and would make up two further positions before the end of the race to finish in eighth.
Matt Neal was able to retake Dan Welch’s Proton on lap nine and held on to that position until the end of the race.
On the final lap, Dave Newsham had now fallen back from Wrathall and was under attack from Andrew Jordan in the Eurotech Racing Honda Civic. Jordan overtook Newsham for third going into Williams, but Newsham was able to get back ahead passing Jordan’s Honda down the Bentley Straight. Jordan fought back, passing Newsham with contact at Nelson, Newsham going on to finish fourth.
Rob Collard lost out on a top ten result with his BMW crawling to a halt to record his first retirement of the year on the final lap, which ensured Mat Jackson took a top ten finish in the first ever race for Motorbase Performance’s new NGTC-spec Ford Focus, with Lea Wood rounding out the top ten in the Team Wood Racing Vauxhall Vectra.
The second race of the day gets underway at 14:40 BST.