It was Jason Plato's weekend in Cheshire, as he guided his Volkswagen CC to two wins and the BTCC championship lead at Oulton Park.
Plato became the first driver this year to win twice on the same day, while a fifth place in the third race pushed him five points clear of second placed Gordon Shedden.
An event-filled first race ended up red flagged when Stewart Lines lost control of his Toyota Avensis in the pit entrance, and Plato claimed the win of the shortened race. He converted pole position into a win with a strong performance, securing pole for race two with the fastest lap too.
As he raced clear to a lead of over three seconds, Matt Neal in his Honda Civic Type-R worked hard to hold off Andy Priaulx's BMW. Priaulx put a lot of pressure on in the closing stages but could not force a mistake from Neal. Andrew Jordan claimed a comfortable fourth place in his MG, just behind the Neal/Priaulx battle.
He was the highest-placed driver on the soft-compound tyre, just ahead of Aron Smith and Gordon Sheddon who were also on soft tyres. Seventh place went to Jack Goff in the second MG. The top ten was rounded off with Tom Ingram's Speedworks Toyota, Sam Tordoff in the second WSR BMW and Dave Newsham's Chevrolet.
In race two, Plato managed to hold off a hard-charging Gordon Shedden, despite carrying the 75kg ballast penalty after winning race one.
As in the opening race Plato led from pole, but the attention of Shedden assured it was not as relaxed as his first victory of the day. Shedden's Civic was carrying 33kg of ballast too, but although it kept pace with Plato and the VW, it never looked like getting past until a mistake on the final lap. Despite a drag to the finish, Plato managed to cling on by a tiny 0.093s margin to claim his fourth win of the season.
Andrew Jordan claimed a comfortable third in his MG with Matt Neal brought home his Honda in fourth.
It turned into a bad race for WSR BMW when a misjudgement from Andy Priaulx, saw him clip the corner of team-mate Rob Collard's car. This forced Collard to retire and Priaulx's damaged car dropped to 15th place.
This allowed the Sam Tordoff to come through and finish fifth, despite starting ninth on the soft tyres, while Adam Morgan followed him in sixth.
Aron Smith held off Team BMR team-mate Colin Turkington to claim seventh, with the top ten completed by MG's Jack Goff and Jeff Smith in his Eurotech Honda Civic.
The final race bought Sam Tordoff's first victory in a rear-wheel drive car and his first for the WSR BMW team.
It was a tough outcome for Ciceley Racing's Adam Morgan who made a strong start from pole, but was forced to take a drive through penalty from the lead for a jump start, eventually finishing in 17th place.
Tordoff passed Matt Neal's Civic shortly after half-distance, having been overtaken by him on on the first lap after running wide. Later that lap, Jordan forced his way inside Neal at Lodge and made it stick despite contact through the following corners.
Jordan chased down Tordoff but could fashion an overtaking chance on the final lap. Tordoff held on for his third BTCC win. Matt Neal completed the podium ahead of team-mate Gordon Shedden.
Plato led home three Team BMR Volkswagen CCs, with Colin Turkington leading home Aron Smith in seventh. Jack Goff bought the second MG home in eighth place, ahead of Tom Ingram's Toyota Avensis and Jeff Smith in his Honda Civic respectively.
The results mean that Plato leads the championship by three points from Gordon Shedden, with Matt Neal in third place five points further back.
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