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BRITISH TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP By MJP Media | 26 August 2012

British Touring Car Championship
Knockhill - Race 1 Report - 26/8/12

Rob Collard and Tom Onslow-Cole take a 1-2 victory for eBay Motors in the first race of the day from a sunny Knockhill as pole-sitter Jason Plato crashes out on the 2nd lap.

Rob Collard celebrates winning the 1st race of the day
Rob Collard celebrates winning the 1st race of the day

Following the wet conditions during the qualifying session yesterday, it was good to see the sun shining at Knockhill for the first race of the day. Jason Plato had qualified on pole position in the MG KX Momentum Racing MG6 alongside Rob Collard in the eBay Motors BMW320si with Aron Smith and Tom Onslow-Cole on the 2nd row of the grid.

Following a long hold on the grid, the race got started and Rob Collard made another of his trademark fast starts and passed pole-sitter Jason Plato before the first corner. By the end of the 1st lap, Collard had extended a lead of 1.5 seconds as Plato came under pressure from the Redstone Racing Ford Focus of Aron Smith. On lap 2, contact between Plato and Smith sent Plato's MG sliding across the track, into the gravel trap and out of the race. Also out of the race following separate incidents were Plato's team-mate Andy Neate and Dynojet's Frank Wrathall. Dave Newsham also spun as did Jeff Smith following contact from Dan Welch however they both managed to re-join the race.

Rob Collard in the eBay Motors BMW 320si
Rob Collard in the eBay Motors BMW 320si

Following a long period under the Safety Car while the marshals cleared the stricken cars, racing resumed with Rob Collard in the lead ahead of team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole. As the eBay Motors drivers started to extend their lead, an intense battle was developing for 3rd place with Gordon Shedden in the Honda Yuasa Racing Team Honda Civic putting pressure on Paul O'Neill in the Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis who in turn was putting pressure on Aron Smith. Before long, Smith's team-mate Mat Jackson had joined the party, making it a 4-way challenge for 3rd place.

Following an exciting battle, Gordon Shedden passed Paul O'Neill on lap 18 to take 4th place and now Shedden set about job of passing Aron Smith. On lap 21 Shedden made a serious challenge however Smith managed to hold on to 3rd as Rob Collard and Tom Onslow-Cole extended their lead at the front.

Aron Smith, Gordon Shedden and Mat Jackson battle for 3rd place
Aron Smith, Gordon Shedden and Mat Jackson battle for 3rd place

In the closing laps, Aron Smith came under intense pressure from Gordon Shedden however the young Irish driver defended his position and looked set to take 3rd place. Shedden, however, had other ideas and in a final bid to claim the last podium place, passed Smith in the last few metres of the last lap to cross the line just 0.011 seconds ahead - much to the delight of the Scottish fans.

At the chequered flag, it was victory Rob Collard with eBay Motors team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole 2nd and Gordon Shedden 3rd. Aron Smith was 4th with Redstone Racing team-mate Mat Jackson 5th and Paul O'Neill 6th for Speedworks Motorsport.

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