Jason Plato, Ashley Sutton and Tom Ingram shared the wins at Knockhill this past weekend (12/13 August) as Colin Turkington emerged as the new points leader in Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
The BTCC’s annual visit north of the border drew in a bumper crowd as three frenetic encounters were played out around the undulating and picturesque Fife circuit.
Qualifying turned out to be one of the most entertaining battles for pole position in some time as all 32 drivers tackled a damp yet drying surface.
With lap times tumbling in the final minutes as drivers switched to slick tyres, Team BMR’s Plato timed his run to perfection to steal top spot from team-mate Sutton and with it, clinched his 50th career pole position in the BTCC.
Having endured a challenging season, the double champion made an emphatic return to the front of the grid - with his car troubles seemingly rectified.
Launching his Subaru Levorg from the front row in race one, Plato showed that he has lost none of his skill by producing a superlative lights-to-flag victory - taking him to within four wins of 100 now. Sutton shadowed the 49-year-old across the line with the Team BMW duo of Turkington and Rob Collard rounding out the top four.
Roles were reversed in race two for BMR with Sutton triumphing in a restarted encounter due to a multi-car accident on lap one. Getting the better of the ballast-ladened Plato, the 23-year-old claimed his fifth victory of the season. Turkington once again came home best of the rest behind the Subaru’s in third.
Ant Whorton-Eales started race three from pole position but his dreams of a breakthrough result with AMD Tuning were to ended on lap two as he was forced to pit after rear contact. That left Speedworks Motrosport’s Ingram to hit the front and when he did, he was never challenged thereon after.
Despite having to judge two safety car restarts to perfection, the Toyota Avensis driver scampered off into the distance to notch his third win of the season.
Behind Ingram however was an enthralling battle for the remaining podium places. Shedden surged into second but then had to deal with Collard, who momentarily got the better of him.
Diving down the inside into Clark corner, the two made contact with Collard coming off worse and ultimately finishing 11th. That paved the way for Turkington to make three third place finishes in Scotland.
Turkington’s trio of podiums now sees him hold a four-point advantage over Sutton with Shedden dropping to third, 12 points off the summit.
Rory Butcher, brother-in-law to reigning champion Shedden, enjoyed a memorable BTCC debut with Motorbase Performance as he clinched the Jack Sears Trophy for top rookie driver.
For the full classification of results and championship standings, click here.
The BTCC action continues to come thick and fast with another short turnaround before rounds 22, 23 and 24 at Rockingham on the 26/27 August.