Jason Plato has given a diesel-powered car - SEAT's Leon TDI - a first ever win in the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship with victory in the first of yesterday's three rounds at the Donington Park circuit in Leicestershire.
In an incident-packed race that required two safety car periods, Plato - who became a father in the week - took the lead off Vauxhall driver Tom Onslow-Cole in the closing stages for his first win of 2008. Plato also set a new race lap record.
Finishing second and third were the Vauxhall Vectra VXRs of Matt Neal and Onslow-Cole who had started the race on pole position.
In the title race, points leader Fabrizio Giovanardi recovered from a pit stop to check over his Vectra to finish eighth. Nearest rival Mat Jackson - poised to close right in on him - crashed out of fifth place in his BMW in a collision with Tom Chilton's Team Halfords Honda Civic.
As a result, Giovanardi still leads the standings but up to second is Neal ahead of Team Halfords' Gordon Shedden and Jackson who has slumped to fourth.
Leading positions, BTCC race 1 Donington Park (provisional):
1. Jason Plato (GBR), SEAT Sport UK/SEAT Leon TDI, 18 laps in 25m08.830s2. Matt Neal (GBR), VX Racing/Vauxhall Vectra VXR, +1.309s3. Tom Onslow-Cole (GBR), VX Racing/Vauxhall Vectra VXR, +1.602sFastest lap: Plato, 1m12.677s (96.95mph) NEW LAP RECORD