Jordan takes victory as Plato rolls out

Andrew Jordan took his first win of the 2011 season in the second race at Donington Park, but it was a huge shunt for the championship leader Jason Plato that had the fans gasping.

Jordan finally took the race win that he deserved after a run of bad luck at the Brands Hatch season opener, and it proved to be the start that sealed the win for the Pirtek Vauxhall driver as he outdragged the pole sitting Honda of Matt Neal, who again got far too much wheelspin off the line and slipped to third behind James Nash.

As the field rumbled down through Craner Curves, the race was soon brought under safety car when Motorbase Ford’s Liam Griffin was turned across the front bumper of Gordon Shedden sharp right and into the innocent Plato who was on the outside, sending the two cars off the road at around 120mph. Plato’s car headed straight into the grass verge at the edge of the track where the Chevrolet Cruze dug into the gravel trap and bounced into a spectacular series of barrel rolls before coming to rest right-side-up.

Despite the incident, amazingly Plato emerged from his car completely unharmed, although their is doubt as to whether the car could be repaired for the final race of the day.

After a lengthy safety car period, Jordan resumed the race still in the lead of the race, although he had to withstand pressure from the Vauxhall of Nash in the early laps on the restart.

In the end, Nash could not do anything about his rival, as Jordan opened the gap to 0.8s on his way to a third BTCC career victory, although Nash now leads the championship after Plato’s misfortunes.

The maximum penalty ballast for winning race one gave Neal a tougher time in race two, and after losing the lead at the start he shadowed the two leaders all the way, but could not get close enough to make a move on the Vauxhalls.

In the closing stages he was forced to hold off the challenging Ford of Tom Chilton who was threatening the leaders in their train at the front of the field, but would have to settle for fourth place as Neal hung on to claim another podium.

Chilton had been in a battle early on in the race with Mat Jackson after the motorbase driver made a mistake at the chicane, but a sideways moment for Chilton at the Old Hairpin allowed Jackson to draw back alongside the newer Ford, only for the two to clash at Mcleans sending Jackson down the order to 10th.

Rob Collard again excelled in his now underrated BMW on his way to fifth place, although his car had been in the wars to get there after Chilton dislodged the rear bumper making his move, and then later in the race he was involved in an incident at Craner Curves that ended in the unlucky Paul O’Neill being spun into the gravel at Old Hairpin.

His team-mate Nick Foster had a terrifying moment when, after overtaking Jeff Smith at Redgate, he lost control of his BMW after slight control with the Vauxhall at Craner he had a wild spun through the gravel, and almost collected the Vectra of Smith as his car crossed the track backwards.

After their struggles with electrical gremlins all Saturday, AMD Miltek showed their biggest signs of improvement yet as Tom Onslow-Cole ran competitively all through the race after a fantastic start put him into the top 10 early on. As the race progressed and the retirements mounted up, he held off the attention of Alex MacDowall’s sole remaining works Chevrolet to finish an excellent seventh place behind Gordon Shedden for the team’s first points of the season.

Shedden had worked his way through the field without any more drama after the first lap incident, carving his way up the order to sixth place by the flag. In the end, MacDowall was mugged of eight on the last lap by rookie Tony Gilham.

Race two results:

 1.  Andrew Jordan    Eurotech Vauxhall     26m54.737s
2.  James Nash       Triple 8 Vauxhall       + 0.776s
3.  Matt Neal        Honda                   + 1.359s
4.  Tom Chilton      Arena Ford              + 2.009s
5.  Rob Collard      WSR BMW                 + 2.472s
6.  Gordon Shedden   Honda                   + 3.155s
7.  Tom Onslow-Cole  AmD Volkswagen          + 8.091s
8.  Tony Gilham      Triple 8 Vauxhall       + 8.800s
9.  Alex MacDowall   Chevrolet               + 8.909s
10.  Mat Jackson      Motorbase Ford          + 9.179s
11.  Andy Neate       Arena Ford             + 10.657s
12.  John George      Tech-Speed Chevrolet   + 12.011s
13.  Jeff Smith       Eurotech Vauxhall      + 16.829s
14.  Chris James      ES Chevrolet           + 18.235s
15.  Dave Newsham     Geoff Steel BMW        + 21.041s
16.  Tony Hughes      Speedworks Toyota      + 22.233s
DNF     Nick Foster      WSR BMW                  12 laps
DNF     Tom Boardman     Special Tuning SEAT      10 laps
DNF     Paul O’Neill     Tech-Speed Chevrolet      9 laps
DNF     Frank Wrathall   Dynojet Toyota            7 laps
DNF     Liam Griffin     Motorbase Ford            0 laps
DNF     Rob Austin       Austin Audi               0 laps
DNF     Jason Plato      Chevrolet                 0 laps

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