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Knockhill: Top-three revel in enthralling race two battle

Race two's top-three finishers Matt Neal, Sam Tordoff and Jason Plato all revelled in what turned out to be an enthralling battle for the win at Knockhill.
Race two's top-three finishers Matt Neal, Sam Tordoff and Jason Plato all revelled in what turned out to be a titanic battle for round 20 of the British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill.

Fresh off the back from his first win for Subaru, double champion Plato led the near entirety of the race after seeing off a flurry of attacks from the chasing BMWs while also having to contend with the advances of his team mate Colin Turkington.

However, carrying 75 kilos of ballast for the first time this season eventually took it's toll and Neal - who scythed his way into contention from eighth - overtook Plato in the dying stages of the race.

“I don't know what to say. I thought we'd have a chance one minute then I thought we'd have absolutely no chance. We got bottled up behind Andy Jordan early on but once we got past it was different," said Neal.

"I got up behind Jason (Plato) and he was playing with Sam (Tordoff), then Jason really seemed to start to struggle with tyres. That gave me the opportunity to pounce. Sam's been fast all weekend.

"When he cleared Jason, I thought that would be it. Our car was monstrous right through to the end. It bodes well for the last one with Flash on the soft tyres."

Having already targeted to remain on the podium during that second race, Plato said a 'big moment' at the hairpin disrupted his rhythm, which subsequently left him vulnerable to a barrage of attacks.

“Everything was going okay. For some reason I then had a big moment at the hairpin. The oversteer was getting worse and worse. It took me a while to recalibrate. When Colin (Turkington) tried to pass me early on, I got a knock and wondered if I got a slow puncture," said Plato

"It was great fun and as much as I tried, I just couldn't quite hang on. Before the race, the target was the podium and I was fairly confident that if the balance stayed the same I could work out what to do. A podium's a podium so I've got to be pleased with that.

"I'm starting to understand the car a bit more and Colin's probably half-a-tenth quicker still. His intel's a bit better than mine on these cars at the moment but we're coming!"

Amidst of all the action, Tordoff - who was also another driver to draw alongside Plato for the race lead - retained his championship advantage over Honda's Neal by three points.

"It was chaos at times – we were all going for it! For a lot of it I just didn't know where to go! We made a few tweaks to the car after race one and it was a different beast. Jason (Plato) started to struggle with his tyres and it gave me the chance," Tordoff continued.

"I was right with him until Matt Neal made his move then I followed him through at the hairpin – he stuck his nose in where it hurts.

"There's a long way to go in the championship so we're not thinking about the future and we're not too worried about the long term right now. We keep scoring points and what will be will be."



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