Jason Plato doubles up at Brands Hatch
Jason Plato took a lights-to-flag victory in the second British Touring Car Championship race of the season at Brands Hatch, followed home again by Andrew Jordan.
The Triple Eight MG driver got a perfect start from pole position and managed to establish a gap as Eurotech Racing’s Jordan battled past Rob Austin’s fast-starting Audi A4.
Jordan steered his Honda Civic past Austin on lap seven and hung on in second ahead of Gordon Shedden, the Honda Racing Team driver recovering superbly from 19th.
Shedden took third after a clash between Austin and Frank Wrathall’s Dynojet Toyota Avensis at Druids, which put the Audi out of the race. Wrathall had previously clashed with Colin Turkington at Paddock Hill on lap two, delaying the WSR BMW 125i driver.
Jordan’s team-mate Jeff Smith took an excellent fourth ahead of Matt Neal, Sam Tordoff, Adam Morgan, Mat Jackson, Turkington and Dave Newsham.
Plato survived a late-race safety car following an incident between David Nye and Warren Scott at Druids, which put the Welch Motorsport Ford Focus out of the race, and meant the last two laps were an all-out dash to the flag.
There was still time for a clash between Neal and Wrathall at Druids, with the Toyota driver ending up in the gravel.
Liam Griffin took victory in the Jack Sears Trophy, finishing 12th overall, and just ahead of rival James Kaye in the AmD Tuning Volkswagen Golf.
Just four drivers – Tordoff, Ollie Jackson, Will Bratt and Dan Welch – chose to race on the soft compound tyres, meaning the majority of the grid will use the tyres in the day’s final race.
Aron Smith’s Motorbase Performance Ford Focus, Rob Collard’s WSR BMW 125i and Tom Onslow-Cole’s Tony Gilham Motorsport Volkswagen CC all retired, while four cars didn’t take the start of the race.
Lea Wood’s JWT Performance Vauxhall Vectra and Joe Girling’s Finesse Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze didn’t leave the garage, Tony Gilham Racing’s Jack Goff was pushed off the grid in his Vauxhall Insignia, and Will Bratt’s Rob Austin Racing Audi A4 had a driveshaft failure on the green flag lap.
The final race of the day is at 17:05 BST. Adam Morgan will start on pole, with the top seven positions reversed after race two.