Jason Plato has continued his run of success at Knockhill after securing a seventh HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship victory at the Scottish venue in the opening race of the weekend.
Having qualified on pole at the wheel of his Racing Silverline Chevrolet Lacetti, Plato led from start to finish to pick up his second win of the season ahead of Gordon Shedden and team-mate Mat Jackson.
Plato made the best start to lead into the opening corner ahead of Shedden and Colin Turkington, although a poor start from Jonathan Adam from the second row of the grid saw him drop behind both Rob Collard and Jackson off the line.
The positions out front remainded stable through the opening laps as Plato gradually began to ease away, with the main movement coming further down the field, with Fabrizio Giovanardi climbing into the top ten by lap three after battling ahead of Tom Chilton and Paul O'Neill to get into the points after a tough qualifying session.
As Plato led from Shedden, Turkington was under pressure from Collard and a slight error at the chicane almost allowed the Airwaves BMW to get a run on the championship leader going up to Carlube. Behind them, Adam was looking at taking fifth from Jackson but was unable to make a move stick at the hairpin.
On lap eight, Giovanardi moved up to ninth past Stephen Jelley which put him at the end of a VX Racing train behind Matt Neal and Andrew Jordan who held seventh and eighth but were unable to keep pace with the top six ahead.
On lap ten, Shedden ran wide at Scotsman but Turkington couldn't pass the Scot, and when Turkington again had a look at the chicane two laps later, he ran slightly wide which allowed Collard to get a run on the inside into Carlube to take third. Further back, Giovanardi had taken eighth from Jordan.
Exiting the hairpin for the 14th time, Turkington got his nose up the inside of Collard and took third back on the run to Duffus Dip, but then ran wide as Collard attempted to defend and dropped back behind Jackson, Adam and Neal – leaving him just ahead of title rival Giovanardi on track. Collard wouldn't keep third for long however, as Jackson got a run along the start/finish straight on the following lap and – despite being forced to take to the grass – was able to take the position going into turn one.
Collard then got out of shape exiting the chicane with both Adam and Neal behind looking to the inside. Two into one wouldn't go however and Neal took to the damp grass and was unable to stop his car from skidding into the side of Collard going into Carlube – putting both cars out on the spot and bringing out the Safety Car.