Jason Plato enhanced Subaru‘s increasing influence in the British Touring Car Championship with his first win of the 2016 season.
Starting from pole position, Plato was never headed in the 27-lap opening race at Knockhill in Scotland, earning his 95th victory in what was his milestone 500th start in the series.
Even a late safety-car period, caused when Silverline Subaru BMR team-mate Warren Scott’s Levorg GT was pitched into the gravel trap, failed to derail Plato’s progress, the veteran driver holding off the Team IHG Rewards Club BMW 125i of Jack Goff, who fought his way past front-row starter Tom Ingram’s Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis late on.
Goff’s team-mate Sam Tordoff, holding second in the series coming into Knockhill, had looked set for fourth, only to lose out following the restart to a bold move at the hairpin by Colin Turkington, the Irishman having taken all three of Subaru’s previous race wins.
Turkington had enjoyed a race-long battle with the Motorbase Pirtek Ford Focus of Andrew Jordan, before making a move stick at the hairpin and pulling away from the Ford, which eventually finished sixth.
The race brought little cheer for the hitherto series leader. Starting from a lowly 18th on the grid, Rob Collard ended up finishing in the same spot, out of the points and dropping six points behind team-mate Tordoff, and two behind Matt Neal.
Neal and his Halfords Yuasa Honda team-mate Gordon Shedden were equally frustrated, however. Neal was unable to hold off the impressive Dave Newsham’s Powermac Chevrolet Cruze, and finished eighth, just ahead of the sister Civic Type-R of Shedden, racing at his home circuit.
The second of the three races at the tricky Scottish circuit is due off the grid at 14.17, check back later to The Car Expert for a full report.