Jason Plato won the opening race of the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch despite a last lap clash with Andrew Jordan that threatened to cost both a place on the podium.
Rob Austin had led the race after a blistering start in his Audi A4 allowed him to blast up to fourth off the line, before he quickly made the most of his soft-compound Dunlop tyres.
After an early Safety Car period when James Cole went off at Paddock Hill Bend, Austin maintained the lead until Austin started to lose performance on his tyres, allowing both Plato and Jordan to move ahead.
The pair broke away out front with Jordan hunting down Plato before making a lunge for the lead going into the final corner. It resulted in both cars going off into the gravel, although both were able to rejoin the circuit and cross the line before Austin was able to take advantage.
Austin held on to third spot ahead of the second MG in the hands of Sam Tordoff, with Jeff Smith and Frank Wrathall rounding out the top six – the latter having stormed through from the back of the grid.
There was disappointment for Honda however, with Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden outside the points having been forced to pit mid-race. Neal had to change a tyre having been tagged at turn one by Dave Newsham – who would later retire himself with an alternator fault – while Shedden was forced onto the grass and had to pit to have grass removed from his radiator.
Rob Collard was forced out with a water leak, while a propshaft issue meant Nick Foster was late joining in.
To view race results, CLICK HERE