Jason Plato took victory in the first of the days 3 BTCC races at Knockhill. The double champion led from the lights and set the pace throughout, followed the whole way by Adrian Flux Subaru team mate Ashley Sutton. They were followed by the Team BMW duo of Colin Turkington and Rob Collard. James Cole made it three Subarus in the top 5 with an impressive 5th place finish, showing the rear-wheel drive prowess at the undulating Scottish Circuit.
Plato and Sutton tried to orchestrate a move at the start of the final lap to earn Sutton the point for leading a lap. However, this didn’t work out as they timed the switch just wrong, as Plato was still classified as leading over the timing line. So, at the final corner of the final lap, Plato went back through up the inside to secure a well deserved victory.
The lead quartet crossed the line at the end of the race, behind arguably the most entertaining battle of the race, which happened outside of the points, between Aidan Moffat, Rob Austin, newcomer Rory Butcher and Ollie Jackson. Plenty of bumping and barging, and lots of place switching, which was good to see in a race with very little action elsewhere.
Matt Neal had an impressive race, starting in P21, and finishing P9, including great overtakes on Dave Newsham and Josh Cook. He almost took P8 from Adam Morgan at the last corner, but the Ciceley Motorsport driver squeezed Neal out to keep the position. Morgan will be happy to be back in the points after a miserable few meetings on the build up to Knockhill.
This victory was Plato’s 96th BTCC win, but was also his first of 2017. Speaking to ITV after the race, Plato confirmed that the team had finally got to the bottom of the problem that had plagued him all season, which was apparently a differential issue.
Result from Round 19 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship:
1. Jason Plato – Adrian Flux Subaru Racing
2. Ashley Sutton – Adrian Flux Subaru Racing
3. Colin Turkington – Team BMW
4. Robert Collard – Team BMW
5. James Cole – Adrian Flux Subaru Racing
6. Tom Ingram – Speedworks Motorsport
7. Senna Proctor – Power Maxed Racing
8. Adam Morgan – Ciceley Motorsport
9. Matt Neal – Halfords Yuasa Racing
10. Dave Newsham – BTC Norlin Racing
11. Gordon Shedden – Halfords Yuasa Racing
12. Josh Cook – MG Racing RCIB Insurance
13. Andrew Jordan – BMW Pirtek Racing
14. Jack Goff – Eurotech Racing
15. Aron Taylor-Smith – MG Racing RCIB Insurance
16. Tom Chilton – Power Maxed Racing
17. Ant Whorton-Eales – AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts
18. Josh Price – Adrian Flux Subaru Racing
19. Chris Smiley – BTC Norlin Racing
20. Stephen Jelley – Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport
21. Jake Hill – TAG Racing
22. Matt Simpson – Simpson Racing
23. Rob Austin – Handy Motorsport
24. Michael Epps – Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing
25. Rory Butcher – Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo
26. Aiden Moffat – Laser Tools Racing
27. Martin Depper – Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo
28. Ollie Jackson – AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts
29. Will Burns – Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing
30. Brett Smith – Eurotech Racing
DNF Mat Jackson – Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo
DNF Stewart Lines – Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport