BMW's Colin Turkington has utterly dominated the BTCC's opening race at Croft while Jason Plato drove a magnificent defensive drive behind amid a multi-car battle for the podium.

The championships leader only cause for concern came through no fault of his own when the initial start was delayed thanks to the red lights failing to release on the starting gantry.

Turkington said during a post race TV interview that the prolonged hold before the lights are supposed to go out burned his BMW's clutch which made the second getaway a tricky procedure.

Once the race was finally underway the Ulsterman was majestic and left Honda's Gordon Shedden well and truly in his wake by nearly eight seconds to take his ninth victory around the Yorkshire based circuit.

Behind the leading duo came the races real source of excitement in the shape of an enthralling battle for the final step of the rostrum.

Plato, after making a tardy getaway to drop behind Shedden's Civic Tourer, faced a race long onslaught from the second BMW of Rob Collard who in turn had defending champion Andrew Jordan and Matt Neal snapping at his heals.

The MG man cleverly positioned his Triple Eight-run machine lap after lap to quell the BMW's infamous RWD traction out of the final hairpin - Plato eventually leading Collard, Jordan and Neal home with the quartet never exchanging positions.

Such was the ferocity of their battle BTCC legend Alain Menu almost capitalised on the quartet tripping over each other and only finished a matter of tenths behind in seventh.

Mat Jackson and Sam Tordoff followed a handful of seconds behind in eighth and ninth while Audi's Hunter Abbott posted his best ever BTCC finish after making the most of running on the softer rubber.


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