Jason Plato has produced an imperious performance to record his 96th career British Touring Car Championship victory ahead of Subaru team mate Ashley Sutton at Knockhill.

The former double champion has struggled for the majority of the 2017 but has signalled he may be back to his best after controlling the opening race from pole-position.

Pole-sitter Jason Plato led the way in the early stages of the race as the top-seven order remained unchanged from its original qualifying classification.

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However, despite Plato being the only top-six driver choosing not to run the soft Dunlop tyre, the former double champion began to come under increasing pressure from the chasing pack, led by his BMR Subaru team mate Ashley Sutton in second.

Nevertheless, Plato managed to maintain the gap at just over 0.5s ahead of Sutton while the Subarus slowly but surely began to establish a clear gap between themselves and the two BMWs of Colin Turkington and Rob Collard.

For a brief moment heading towards the final lap of the race, Plato did surrender the lead to Sutton, with the aim of the latter title protagonist gaining a further point for leading a lap. However it appears the duo misjudged where the timing line was, meaning Sutton failed to capture the bonus point.

Unable to challenge the leading Subaru Levorgs, Turkington settled for the final step on the rostrum ahead of his team mate Collard but still picks up the championship lead as Honda's Gordon Shedden could only muster an eleventh place finish.

Following a near race long battle, James Cole made it an all-RWD top-five lock-out in third Subaru after moving past the Toyota Avensis of Tom Ingram mid-way through the race.

Vauxhall's Senna Proctor recorded his best career finish as the top Jack Sears Trophy runner in seventh position ahead of Ciceley Motorsport's Adam Morgan in eighth.

Matt Neal recovered from his disastrous qualifying session by charging from 21st to ninth while home favourite Dave Newsham completed the top-ten order for BTC Norlin Racing.