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Battle-scarred Plato takes victory
6 June 2010
Jason Plato has moved to the head of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship standings despite his Silverline Chevrolet Cruze appearing somewhat second hand at the end of race two at Oulton Park.
The 2001 title winner survived an opening lap incident involving team-mate Alex MacDowall and the BMW of Rob Collard at the Island Hairpin to lie fifth and then inherited fourth place on lap two when Gordon Shedden's Honda ground to a halt with a driveshaft issue.
Picking off Tom Chilton and Mat Jackson moved Plato up to second and he was then able to take the lead going into Hislops on lap ten having hit the rear of race one winner Tom Onslow-Cole at the hairpin.
Despite the front of his car carrying the battle wounds of that contact, Plato was able to pull away from Matt Neal – who had passed Onslow-Cole on lap eleven – to secure victory despite light rain starting to fall in the closing laps of the race.
Neal finished seven-tenths of a second behind the Chevrolet man as the pair head into race three split by just three points, while Onslow-Cole too his second podium finish of the day in third.
Jackson settled for fourth place with team-mate Steven Kane enjoying a solid run to fifth with Tom Chilton in sixth after once again finding himself unable to match Onslow-Cole's pace. James Nash took seventh for Triple Eight ahead of a charging Tom Boardman – the local driver coming from the back of the field to eighth – with Alex MacDowall beating Dave Pinkney to ninth by just 0.043secs. That was also enough to give MacDowall pole for race three thanks to the reverse grid draw.
Pinkney had been embroiled in a hectic battle with MacDowall, Lea Wood and John George which saw his Vauxhall and the Honda's of Wood and George clash at Lodge. George was forced to retire when his engine was damaged as a result, while Wood missed out on the chance to finish in the points as MacDowall came back up the order following his lap one incident.
Collard could only finish 15th after running off track again after his spin with his WSR team-mate Andy Neate pitting with a puncture after clipping MacDowall on the opening lap.
For the second successive race, Paul O'Neill was unable to start with more gearbox issues.
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