By Jamie Arrowsmith 14/06 Updated: 14/06 17:29
MG KX Momentum Racing secured two podium finishes as the BTCC season resumed at Oulton Park on what was a somewhat bitter sweet weekend for the team.
Sunday’s opening race showed how cruel motorsport can be at times as after securing a brilliant pole position on Saturday, Jason Plato suffered a suspension issue on his way to the grid, robbing him of the chance to fight for victory. It was a double blow as it also meant Plato started the second race from the back of the grid. The silver-lining was that Andy Neate produced his strongest performance of the season to-date, charging through from 12th on the grid to score solid points in seventh.
It was all change in race two as the bad luck switched to Neate’s side of the garage. After a promising start to the race, a technical failure unfortunately caused him to retire.
The size of the task facing from the back of the grid Plato was enormous. However, unperturbed he set about battling past the cars in front of him one by one and with three laps to go he had caught Daniel Welch in third, passing him on the start/finish straight to secure his sixth podium of the season.
The top nine cars on the grid were reversed for race three, meaning Plato lined up seventh.
He made steady progress in what proved to be a stop/start race that was interrupted by two lengthy Safety Car periods.
In the closing stages the front four, including the two Hondas, Tom Onslow-Cole’s BMW and Plato’s MG6 battled closely for the lead, with Plato eventually finishing second to record a podium double for the day and secure the team’s seventh podium of the 2012 season.
“Being quickest all day yesterday and getting pole, it was obviously disappointing to not even start race one and it’s hurt our weekend,” Plato said.
“To start from the back of the grid in race two and get a podium and then a second in race three means we don’t need to be too disheartened. It’s a long year and we’ve scored some good points, onwards to Croft.”
Neate added: “We’ve had strong pace this weekend, which means the technical issues we’ve suffered are doubly frustrating.”
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