Plato battles for double victory at Silverstone

 

Jason Plato fends off Colin Turkington and Mat Jackson

MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save driver Jason Plato scored two impressive Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship victories at Silverstone earlier today (28 September), ensuring there will be a title showdown at Brands Hatch in two weeks’ time.

The home of British motor sport never fails to produce incredible racing, and a crowd of over 30,000 fans descended on the Northamptonshire venue to see the best tin-top drivers in the country battle it out around the National circuit.

For both wins Plato had to get past current championship leader Colin Turkington, making late dives down the inside at Brooklands corner on both occasions to steal some valuable points back from the eBay Motors BMW driver.

Airwaves Racing’s Mat Jackson completed the podium in the opening race, having jumped fellow second row starter Sam Tordoff off the line. MG’s Tordoff had to fend off the Chrome Edition Restart Racing duo of Alain Menu and Aron Smith to claim fourth.

With Plato leading home Turkington again in race two, it was this time left for Menu to join them on the rostrum after the Swiss star attacked Jackson through Copse before completing the move at Becketts shortly after the mid-distance stage of the contest.

The second race also saw one of the biggest accidents of the season when Rob Collard’s BMW barrel rolled several times before coming to rest upside down. The incident was sparked after he’d made contact with Jack Clarke’s recovering Ford Focus, which was in the midst of a high-speed slide on the exit of Becketts. A shaken and winded Collard was taken to hospital for precautionary X-rays but was released later on Sunday evening.

One of the most incredible touring car battles in recent years then played out when no fewer than five former BTCC champions went doorhandle-to-doorhandle in a bid for a podium finish in the final race.

The race win went to the impressive Jackson – his second victory of the season – as the Motorbase driver nipped by team-mate Fabrizio Giovanardi in the early stages. Smith followed suit to claim a lonely second place while the epic scrap ensued behind.

Turkington eyed every opportunity to get past Giovanardi before finally making a concrete attempt at the end of lap 19, which launched a sensational sequence of events.

Giovanardi and Turkington touched while running side-by-side across the start/finish line, as the VW of Alain Menu also joined the fray. As the two squabbled over the same piece of asphalt Menu cleverly wedged his VW up the inside of both of them and into third place through Copse.

Jackson, Plato and Turkington all visited the podiumThey were three abreast on the run down to Becketts before Plato made it four former champions in the fight. Plato’s MG then made contact with the rear of Turkington’s BMW at the tight turn, which speared the Ulsterman’s machine into Giovanardi’s Ford Focus. The Italian impressively saved the car from a wild slide but not before he had been bumped down the order.

It was three-wide again down the Wellington Straight with reigning champion Andrew Jordan now looking to join the party. As the cars roared into Brooklands it was Turkington who emerged in third place immediately followed by Plato, Menu and Jordan. The quartet were eventually covered by little more than a second as they finished the race.

The fallout from a fantastic weekend at Silverstone is that Turkington now holds a 50-point advantage in the Drivers’ standings over Plato and the two will now duel it out for the coveted BTCC title at Brands Hatch next month.

MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save is in the driving seat of the Manufacturers’ championship with Plato’s dynamic double extending its lead over Honda Yuasa Racing to 28 points.

Turkington and eBay Motors have now moved into unassailable leads in the Independents’ drivers and teams tables.

Jason Plato said: “I’ve been in a fighting mood today and it was great to take those two wins. It got a bit saucy in race three today but it was a really great battle! I had to look after the soft tyres to begin with but when I saw it getting feisty up ahead I decided it was time to go for it. As it all kicked off into Maggots/Becketts I got a good run on Colin but I just couldn’t get enough of an overlap. Looking ahead our focus now is to win the Manufacturers’ title for MG and that means that both myself and Sam have to finish all three races at Brands Hatch. I’m going to go out there and try and win more races, but realistically the gap in the Drivers’ standings is too big.”

The final stop for the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will be at Brands Hatch on 11/12 October.

2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Silverstone

Race 1

  1. Jason PLATO (MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save): 22 Laps
  2. Colin TURKINGTON (eBay Motors): +1.453
  3. Mat JACKSON (Airwaves Racing): +1.578
  4. Sam TORDOFF (MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save): +3.561
  5. Alain MENU (Chrome Edition Restart Racing): +4.602
  6. Aron SMITH (Chrome Edition Restart Racing): +4.909

Race 2

  1. Jason PLATO (MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save): 20 Laps
  2. Colin TURKINGTON (eBay Motors): +1.013
  3. Alain MENU (Chrome Edition Restart Racing): +1.739
  4. Mat JACKSON (Airwaves Racing): +2.778
  5. Aron SMITH (Chrome Edition Restart Racing): +2.979
  6. Sam TORDOFF (MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save): +5.739

Race 3

  1. Mat JACKSON (Airwaves Racing): 24 Laps
  2. Aron SMITH (Chrome Edition Restart Racing): +2.753
  3. Colin TURKINGTON (eBay Motors): +5.257
  4. Jason PLATO (MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save): +5.972
  5. Alain MENU (Chrome Edition Restart Racing): +6.303
  6. Andrew JORDAN (Pirtek Racing): +6.926

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