He beat pole sitter Colin Turkington away from at the start into a lead he never lost. Just behind him Fabrizio Giovanardi’s Vectra was knocked sideways and two incidents involving each of the MGs brought out the safety car.
Reigning champion Matt Neal carefully worked his way up from ninth to fourth at the flag. He was then promoted to third after Mat Jackson was excluded from third place. This came as Jackson finished the final six laps with smoke pouring from his BMW after a minor off – he lost a potential debut podium.
It left last year’s top three drivers in the podium positions – Plato ahead of Turkington and Neal.