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Plato doubles up with lights-to-flag victory

Sunday, March 31 2013

Jason Plato followed up his race one win with a second victory at Brands Hatch today (Sunday) in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. Andrew Jordan was the runner-up again, with team mate Jeff Smith promoted to third after reigning champion Gordon Shedden was later excluded from the result.

The second race of the day saw Sam Tordoff, Ollie Jackson, Dan Welch and Will Bratt opt for the soft tyres and with temperatures similar to the earlier encounter, it looked likely that they would struggle for grip later on.

Austin made another great start but was unable to pass Plato at Paddock or Druids and slotted behind. Meanwhile Jordan had his mirrors full of Tordoff as Frank Wrathall and Colin Turkington clashed on lap two, sending the BMW briefly into the gravel.

Jackson's race ended in the barriers at Paddock Hill as Plato made good his escape from Austin's Audi. The sister MG was already in trouble as Shedden demoted him to seventh place, the reigning champion on the move and chasing Smith's similar car.

By lap seven Jordan and Wrathall had caught Austin and the Civic was past in moments, setting off after the leader. A very wide Audi tried to prevent Wrathall from making a move but on lap nine the pair made contact at Druids and with Austin off, Shedden was the main beneficiary with a podium position, with Smith now fourth.

With the second Pirtek car holding back Wrathall, Tordoff, Neal and Mat Jackson, the action shifted to the battle for fourth place. Neal squeezed past Tordoff on the pit straight but was unable to pass Wrathall, who was stuck behind Smith.

Jordan was also unable to make progress and as Plato got away, his priority became the works Honda of Shedden, now closing fast. But all soon became academic as the safety car was deployed after David Nye struck the back of fellow S2000 runner Warren Scott at Druids.

This left just two laps of racing and as Plato cleared away, Shedden lined up Jordan, as Neal and Wrathall collided, sending the latter into the gravel at Druids. Tordoff was past but only temporarily as the Honda tried to take Smith at Clearways. He had to settle for fifth place, however, behind Plato, Jordan, Shedden and Smith. Liam Griffin took the Jack Sears Trophy win from James Kaye.

"It's a good day," said Plato. "I wish they'd stop throwing safety cars, I've got enough grey hairs as it is! We really understand this car now and I think we've improved it still. Now we're going to see what happens in race three, I've got the soft tyres on, we'll see how we get on."

The result was later amended after Shedden's car failed post-race checks for ride height, meaning Smith inherited third place and Mat Jackson will now start from pole position for the final race of the day at 17:05.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Race 2

1, Jason Plato, MG KX Momentum Racing, MG6, 27 Laps
2, Andrew Jordan, Pirtek Racing, Honda Civic, +0.989s
3, Jeff Smith, Pirtek Racing, Honda Civic, +4.958s
4, Matt Neal, Honda Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic, +5.073s
5, Sam Tordoff, MG KX Momentum Racing, MG6, +5.454s
6, Adam Morgan, Ciceley Racing, Toyota Avensis, +5.874s
7, Mat Jackson, Airwaves Racing, Ford Focus, +6.640s
8, Colin Turkington, eBay Motors, BMW 125i M Sport, +7.086s
9, Dave Newsham, Speedworks Motorsport, Toyota Avensis, +7.295s
10, Nick Foster, eBay Motors, BMW 125i M Sport, +7.635s

Tickets for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch are available on the gate from £31, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.