MG's Jason Plato maintained his Snetterton supremacy after winning the first BTCC race of the weekend in dominant fashion ahead of championship leader Colin Turkington.

Plato's assault on the race got off to the best start possible as the Triple Eight driver comfortably held the still notoriously fast starting Turkington at bay to arrive into turn one safely in the lead.

The leading pair, covered by a constant gap of two seconds throughout the race, stayed in that formation until the chequered flag.

Turkington's second place means the eBay BMW man healthily maintains his position at the top of the championship with his nearest rival, Gordon Shedden, only managing a eighth-place finish during the opening race.

The main source of excitement ensued behind the leading duo as the battle for the final step on the rostrum proved to be wide open.

BTCC legend Alain Menu initially held third position during the opening laps after his VW CC made an electric getaway from the line, demoting Sam Tordoff and Matt Neal further down the top ten.

Despite the Chrome Edition Restart Racing mans best defensive efforts, Honda's Neal eventually found a way past the Volkswagen machine into the final corner.

Menu's battle however wasn't over as his younger team mate Aron Smith seemed determined to demote the former champion even further as the two VW's came perilously close to colliding during the opening sector of the lap.

A brilliant piece of opportunistic driving from Mercedes' Adam Morgan saw him elevate his A-Class past both Menu and Smith as the pair fought the top BMR racing bragging rights.

Morgan then went about eating into Neal's lead for the final podium position, but the former triple BTCC champions Civic Tourer proved too much of a challenge for the Wix Racing man and eventually settled for fourth.

Menu held off Smith to finish where he started in fifth while Honda's Shedden recovered from eleventh to seventh with Mat Jackson following behind in his Airwaves Focus in eighth.

Following a disastrous qualifying yesterday WSR's Rob Collard found himself starting the first race from 19th but the eBay man, not for the first time this season, brilliantly clawed his way up the field to finish an impressive ninth ahead of BMR's Jack Goff in tenth.

Having received the all clear from the BTCC medical team earlier in the morning defending champion Andrew Jordan was allowed to take part in the first Snetterton race.

Starting from the pit-lane, Jordan failed to make any real impression on the race but did bravely salvage a top 16 finish.

Race one's biggest mover though came in the shape of Airwaves' Fabrizio Giovanardi. Knowing he was already starting from the rear of the pack, Giovanardi sacrificed qualifying to perfect a favorable set-up come race day.

The gamble paid off and former double-champion catapulted his Motorbase Focus up the order to finish as high as 13th despite starting from the last row on the grid.