MOTORSPORT: Plato pleased with points haul

Banbury Cake: Jason Plato (far right) battles it out at a rain-lashed Thruxton as the cars send the spray flying Jason Plato (far right) battles it out at a rain-lashed Thruxton as the cars send the spray flying

Oxford's Jason Plato was happy to come away from a rain-soaked Thruxton with a good points haul to maintain his lead in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

Plato recorded third, second and fourth-place finishes in his MG KX Momentum Racing MG6 to remain four points clear of the field.

He said: “We’ve had zero running in the wet before with the MG, so to take away a big points haul on a rainy day is very pleasing.”

Mat Jackson won the first race, with Gordon Shedden taking the next two to move up to second in the standings.

Andrew Jordan had headed qualifying to line up on pole position for race one.

But it all went wrong for the Pirtek Racing driver at the first bend as his Honda Civic tangled with Plato’s MG KX Momentum Racing MG6 and crashed.

This left the way clear for Jackson to reel off his second win of the season in his Redstone Racing Ford Focus ahead of Dave Newsham, in his Team ES Racing.com Vauxhall Vectra, and Plato.

Shedden was unstoppable in race two as he quickly made up positions to pass Jackson for the lead and a comfortable win.

Plato took second ahead of Jackson in third.

In race three, Shedden and Matt Neal then romped clear of the opposition to give Honda a one-two result.

Third was Frank Wrathall in his Dynojet Toyota Avensis, with Plato fourth.

As a result, Plato heads to Oulton on June 9-10 holding a four-point lead from the charging Shedden.

Next up are Neal, Jackson and Hampshire’s Robert Collard who, on his home track, took a fourth and two seventh places in his eBay Motors BMW.

Plato said: “We’ve got a big test programme planned between now and Oulton which should really enable us to make big gains with the car.”

Standings (top ten): 1 J Plato 129pts, 2 G Shedden 125, 3 M Neal 115, 4 M Jackson 107, 5 R Collard 103, 6 A Jordan 94, 7 D Newsham 74, 8 J Smith 67, 9 T Onslow-Cole 64, 10 F Wrathall 60.

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