British Touring Car Championship: Jason Plato off to a flyer at Brands Hatch
Last Updated: 31/03/13 8:06pm
Jason Plato: claimed two wins from three races at Brands Hatch
Jason Plato claimed two wins from three races at Brands Hatch as the new British Touring Car season got underway.
The MG KX Momentum driver got the better of pole-sitter Andrew Jordan after a thrilling race-long duel that almost ended in tears on the final lap when Jordan made an ill-advised move on the leader.
Jordan's late lunge saw both men forced off the circuit but they managed to recover and re-join in the same order as Plato held on for a hard-fought triumph in the season-opener.
The pair's late contact almost allowed the Audi of Rob Austin through for an unlikely win, but he had to settle for a nevertheless impressive third.
The high drama that enlivened the first race was not so much in evidence in the second as Plato eased to a lights-to-flag win.
The Pirtek Honda of Jordan again had to settle for second place behind the two-time BTCC champion, while Jeff Smith (Honda Civic) was elevated to third place after reigning champion Gordon Shedden was excluded when his Civic failed ride-height regulations on post-race scrutineering.
Matt Neal secured victory in the final race of the day, the Honda driver taking the lead after a mistake from pole-sitter Mat Jackson and then just doing enough to see off team-mate Shedden as his tyres went away late in the race.
Sam Tordoff enjoyed a maiden podium for the KX Momentum team, while team-mate Plato capped a fine day's work as he claimed fifth place.