Double British Touring Car champion Jason Plato has heaped praise on Speedworks Motorsport's Tom Ingram by dubbing their enthralling race three contest at Rockingham as a 'proper battle'.

The pair embarked on one of the races of the season when a determined start from Plato immediately launched the Team BMR driver directly behind the Speedworks Toyota of Ingram, who led the reverse grid away from pole position.

Plato immediately began to apply a barrage of pressure onto Ingram and made numerous attempts for the lead by diving up the inside of the Avensis at the Deene Hairpin.

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But every time Plato appeared to have stolen the lead away from Ingram, the 22-year old tenaciously fought back and held the position around the outside of the Volkswagen CC to hold the top spot through the following sequence of corners.

Plato finally broke through Ingram's courageous line of defence with five laps of the race to go as Ingram held onto second ahead of Colin Turkington.

"It was proper racing," Plato told crash.net "Things do occasionally over boil in this championship and there's a reason for that but generally, if everyone plays a straight bat, we get great racing.

"Sometimes it does go overboard. It didn't today [Sunday] so that's great."

Plato revealed after the race that he lost his right hand wing mirror when making his first attempt for the lead and said Ingram cleverly used that to his advantage by catching the Team BMR man unaware within his blind spot.

"The first time I tried to pass him I knocked my right hand door mirror off so I couldn't see where he was and he knew that. Perhaps I've taught him a few too many of my tricks!

"Maybe when I look back over the tapes I'll see that I did have an overlap to close the door but, at the time, I didn't know.

"I had to allow a margin and he took full advantage of that. It was brilliant.

"I've worked with Tom [Ingram] and he was our first 'darling' of the KX Academy. After two years of mentoring him we saw something special and we've seen it today. He's a star that lad and a brilliant driver. He drove incredibly well, beautifully actually."