Plato reigns in the wet

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The Independent Online

Torrential rain brought MG their first British Touring Car Championship win here yesterday, but failed to stop the action as Vauxhall's Jason Plato clinched the drivers' title in the final round.

Even the wettest conditions the championship has raced in for years could not put out the fire which finished Yvan Muller's challenge. The Frenchman had moved to the head of the field in the final round, the feature race, and looked poised to pinch the title from his team-mate after Plato spun. It was not to be, though, as a fire started under Muller's bonnet while the field circulated behind the safety car.

With the race under way again, Plato raised his pace and moved up from third place to second at the expense of Peugeot's Dan Eaves to confirm his title win beyond doubt.

The race was won by Phil Bennett in his Vauxhall Astra, who resisted intense pressure from Plato as darkness fell. Eaves took a well-deserved third place – some consolation for Peugeot after its lead driver, Steve Soper, suffered concussion after contact with Bennett.

MG's win in the penultimate round was inspired by driver Anthony Reid's decision to stick with slick tyres while his rivals opted for wet-weather rubber in a mid-race downpour.

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