Jason Plato has taken his first victory of the season, his first in the new Subaru Levorg, as he celebrated his 500th start in the British Touring Car Championship.
After the chaos of Snetterton a fortnight ago, the championship put on a professional display in the days opening race.
Plato dominated proceedings to take his career win tally to 95 not out in this lights to flag victory. The two time champion made a brilliant start, denying Tom Ingram and the fast starting West Surrey Racing BMW’s of Sam Tordoff and Jack Goff the opportunity to sneak through and controlled the race from there.
When team-mate Warren Scott had a coming together with Dan Welch, the safety car was brought out to recover the Subaru and it briefly appeared as though Plato would face a challenge for the win but these fears were quickly put to bed – the Subaru driver using all of his experience to fend off Goff.
Colin Turkington, another of Plato’s Team BMR team-mates, was another standout performer as he pulled off overtake after overtake to climb to third place.
While the safety car caused brief panic for Plato, it provided opportunity for Turkington, closing the gap to Ingram and Turkington was never going to waste the opportunity.
Ingram left the smallest of gaps at the final chicane and there was no need for a second invitation, Turkington sliding his Subaru neatly up the inside.
Dave Newsham impressed on his return to the championship for Power Maxed Racing, just holding off the two Team Dynamics Honda’s for seventh place while Rob Austin backed up his Snetterton podium with another top ten finish.
Race two gets underway live on ITV 4 at 14:17.