Championship standings after Round one:Posted: April 9, 2011
Reigning champion Jason Plato got his season off to a perfect start at the opening round at Brands Hatch afer a double race win that moved him past Andy Rouse’s record of 60 BTCC victories and a safe race three result to take the early championship lead.
Rouse’s record had lasted as far back as since the final round of the 1992 season, but Plato wasted no time in surpassing it with a great start in race one and a controlled defensive drive against Mat Jackson and Gordon Shedden in race two.
It wasn’t all smiles for the Silverline Chevrolet team however as while Plato was teaching the field how to do it, his team-mate Alex MacDowall managed to pick up a whopping seven penalty points on his race licence and a built fine of £1150 for his numerous misdemeanours over the weekend.
The most talked about of the offences came in race one when he punted poleman and favourite Matt Neal out of the race at Druids, after which Honda man Neal managed to salvage 23 points from the weekend to lie fifth at the end of the day.
His team-mate’s recovery was quite remarkable after a crash in practice looked set to sideline him for the weekend. Instead the team worked overnight and repaired the car for Shedden to shine on Sunday with three solid finishes to lie fourth in the standings with what is clearly a seriously quick Honda.
Credit is due for the performances of Mat Jackson and James Nash all weekend, whilst spare a thought for Andrew Jordan who lost two great results due to punctures. Paul O’Neill and Tom Chilton both picked up podiums, while rookies Tony Gilham, Jeff Smith and Dave Newsham all picked up points at Brands.
Tom Onslow-Cole was impressive in the team AMD Golf despite being taken out in an incident in race two, whilst the new NGTC-spec cars of Tony Hughes and Frank Wrathall suffered a somewhat baptism of fire in the debuts as their weekends were effectively a learning process for the cars.
Standings after round one: