CHILTON & ONSLOW-COLE WIN AT SILVERSTONE BUT PLATO CONTINUES TO LEAD TITLE RACE Tom Chilton and Tom Onslow-Cole won all three of today's Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races at Silverstone to make it a clean sweep for their Team Aon...
CHILTON & ONSLOW-COLE WIN AT SILVERSTONE BUT PLATO CONTINUES TO LEAD TITLE RACE
Tom Chilton and Tom Onslow-Cole won all three of today's Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races at Silverstone to make it a clean sweep for their Team Aon squad. Chilton won the day's first two races before Onslow-Cole took victory in the third - a result that has enabled him to slash the gap to championship leader Jason Plato to just 14 points as the BTCC title race moves to the spectacular Knockhill circuit in Fife for its next round on Sunday 5 September.
Onslow-Cole led races one and two but in each was overtaken by Chilton before the chequered flag. In race one their Ford Focuses, powered by LPG turbo engines, crossed the line first and second ahead of Plato's Silverline Chevrolet Cruze. But in race two WSR BMW driver Robert Collard was able to split them as he muscled past Onslow-Cole on the final lap to take a hard-fought second place. Plato finished this race in fourth.
In race three, Paul O'Neill led away from the reversed grid's pole position but was eventually overhauled by Onslow-Cole who drew clear for a comfortable win. O'Neill was still a hugely popular second in his Honda Integra, run by the small Sunshine.co.uk with Tech-Speed Motorsport team. Airwaves BMW driver Mat Jackson crossed the line in third after a robust move on Chilton.
Behind, Oxford-based Plato could only manage ninth after a tangle with old rival, the Honda Racing Team's Matt Neal, sent him into a spin at the first corner. Having gone into the day 20 points clear of Neal - at one stage today his lead was out to 29 - Plato leaves Silverstone still on top of the table but by a much reduced margin over new nearest challenger Onslow-Cole. Warwickshire's Neal, who today achieved eighth, fifth and fourth places in his Honda Civic, is third in the standings, a further nine points adrift.
New Malden-based Onslow-Cole, who also set the fastest lap in all three races - one of them a new lap record - said: "To make so much ground in one day on Jason and Matt is amazing and to be up to second and to be not so far off the lead in second feels fantastic. Snetterton two weeks ago seemed to suit the Chevrolet, here it was the turn of our car so it could be Matt's turn at Knockhill where everybody expects the Civic to be strong. With just three rounds to go things are bound to start getting tense so it will be really important to take as many points as possible and keep up the pressure."
Meanwhile, Arena/Ford has moved past Honda/Dynamics into the lead of the Manufacturers/Constructors Championship. It has closed in on the Honda Racing Team at the top of the HiQ Teams' standings as well, the gap between them now down to just five points. Onslow-Cole's Silverstone results have hoisted him back into the lead of the Independent Drivers' title race. Team Aon has also taken over the lead of the Independent Teams' table from Airwaves BMW.