Two wins for Jason Plato and one for Mat Jackson at Northants circuit, but Colin Turkington's consistent finishing keeps him on course for the crown
Matt Burt
28 September 2014

Jason Plato won two rounds of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone today (Sunday) but he couldn’t prevent Colin Turkington inching closer to his second title with three strong finishes.

Double BTCC title winner Plato headed to the Northants circuit in the knowledge that he needed a substantial points haul to keep his title hopes alive.

The MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save driver seized pole position for the weekend’s opening race, with Turkington’s eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport qualifying alongside him the front row.

Championship leader Turkington used his rear-wheel-drive traction to power into the lead on the run into Copse on the opening lap.

However, the front-wheel-drive cars get their front rubber up to racing temperature more quickly than the rear-drive variants, and Plato was able to slither through under braking for the left-hander at Brooklands.

That was the end of the battle at the front, because although Turkington didn’t fall away from Plato, he couldn’t force the BTCC’s wiliest campaigner into a mistake and the MG6 driver passed the chequered flag 1.4sec ahead of his challenger.

Mat Jackson claimed third place in his Airwaves Racing Ford Focus, and came close to overhauling Turkington on the final tour too. Fourth place fell to the second MG6 of Sam Tordoff, with the Chrome Edition Restart Racing Volkswagen CCs of Alain Menu and Aron Smith rounded out the top six.

Race two followed a similar pattern. With race one result determining the grid line-up, Plato was on pole position with Turkington alongside him once again.

Turkington made another scorching getaway and led the early stages until Plato slipped through a narrow gap at Brooklands once again to seize a lead he wouldn’t relinquish.

Plato’s MG was on the harder of the Dunlop tyre compounds for this race, and was also carrying around a full 46kg of success ballast, but he managed to resist his title rival’s persistent attacks.

Turkington’s BMW was fitted with the softer rubber – which all drivers must use once during the race meeting – and he began to fall away from Plato in the closing stages.

Third place fell to Menu, who overhauled a fading Jackson in the second half of the race, attacking the Focus through Copse and completing the move at Becketts. Jackson just fended off Menu’s team-mate Smith for fifth.

The race was called to a halt one lap early after a monumental accident involving Turkington’s team-mate Rob Collard, who clipped the out-of-shape Ford Focus of Jack Clarke and was pitched into a barrel roll at 90mph. Collard was taken to hospital for precautionary checks after the incident.  

Former champion Fabrizio Giovanardi was drawn on pole position for the random reversed-grid race three, but the start was delayed when Sam Tordoff’s MG was pushed away from its front-row grid slot after it sprang an oil leak.

Giovanardi led away, but before the end of the opening lap his Airwaves Racing Ford Focus team-mate Mat Jackson slipped ahead.

After a short safety car period to clear the debris from a first-lap incident, Jackson made good his escape at the front, while Smith worked his way past Giovanardi and set off in pursuit.

The Italian had a queue of cars including Turkington, Menu and Plato – the latter now on the soft tyres – on his tail, but managed to keep them at bay for lap after lap. Turkington – with one eye undoubtedly on the championship positions – looked wary of committing to an overtaking attempt lest he get compromised at lose place and points to his pursuers.

The battle came to a head in the closing stages, as Turkington finally found a tiny gap to slot his BMW alongside Giovanardi through Brooklands, but the Italian fought back to reclaim the place.

The pair rubbed doorhandles and slowed each other up, giving Menu and Plato the opportunity to close in. Under braking for Becketts, Plato gave Turkington a small nudge which sent the BMW into the side of Giovanardi, who was pitched into a half spin.

Somehow, Turkington emerged in third place ahead of Plato and Menu as the Italian fell back to 12th position and reigning champion Andrew Jordan slotted in to sixth.

Up at the front, Jackson stroked home 2.7sec ahead of Smith to record his second win of the season.

The weekend’s results mean Turkington takes a 50-point advantage into the final three races of the season at Brands Hatch on October 11/12.

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Our Verdict

MG 6 2011-2014

Can the MG Motor MG6, the company's first all-new car under Chinese ownership, hit its mark?

28 September 2014
Why would anyone by a Rover, regardless.

www.KOOOLcr.com

 

28 September 2014
Nowt to do with Rover, but seeing as you asked, because they are cheap to buy and maintain in my experience.
Also nice to be driving something designed etc in Britain rather than yet another oh so boring German car, not that I have owt against Germans.

28 September 2014
Well done Mr Plato and MG btw :)

29 September 2014
How can something so awful do so well and, of course, not sell so famously?

29 September 2014
…Maybe I should head to a racing circuit if I want to check one out.

I don't.

Well done to Plato though. I don't follow BTCC but he comes across as a decent fella, on Fifth Gear, at least.

30 September 2014
The BTCC is not the road MG car. The badge on the other hand is probably from the longbridge gift shop. It just helps sell about 3 extra cars a year. Marketing was never a strength of MG new or old. So we can still celebrate comedy car making at longbridge.

@kcrally well peterover give his verdict.... Cheap to maintain.. cheaply made and driven in cheap and and frugal way. Basically if asda value boxers are your thing you can go round banging your (Tesco value) drum claiming everything non-rover is boring.

30 September 2014
When Subaru started winning all of those rallys in the 90's- they capitalised on it and released the Impreza turbo. MG doesnt seem to get this.

Why don't MG release a 300 bhp saloon for <18k? The engineering isn't going to be too expensive as they have the basic car.

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