One of the big questions in race two was how much would Plato help team-mate Turkington. The County Armagh racer had put himself firmly back into the hunt with that race one win.
When Plato skilfully teed up a pass on Austin’s Toyota to grab second place at Surtees on lap eight, we would find out the answer, because Shedden followed Plato through for third place.
At first, it seemed like Plato wouldn’t help at all as he zoomed up on to the bootlid of Turkington’s leading machine and had several robust looks going into Paddock Hill Bend.
All of the top three were on the softer Dunlop tyres, but the extra weight in Turkington’s car was a real problem.
“I knew that I had to set the fastest lap, because I needed every single point on offer,” said Team BMR driver Turkington. “We had data from my teammate James Cole, who had used the softs in race one and we knew they would go off but we simply had to push.
“When Jason caught me he had a couple of looks and I gave him room, because I simply had to finish the race to stand any chance of the title. I didn’t really understand the mentality when he was pushing me towards the end, but he did the job in the end and backed it off, even though he had the faster car.”
Plato did slow things down once he had “a call from the team” and gave his sister car a buffer to those chasing behind.
Some in the team suggested that it was pre-orchestrated plan and that Plato had slowed down as soon as Shedden’s Honda was taking advantage of the top two slowing each other up. But Turkington wasn’t quite so sure.
In the end, so good was Plato’s roadblock job that he and Shedden had a queue of cars behind them and they were more than one second behind.
“I didn’t want to take the fight to Jason. was happy with where I was and I didn’t want to take any risks. Third place was good enough,” said the Scotsman.
Shedden could not relax with Cook nipping at his heels, and he had points leader Tordoff in his wheeltracks.
Austin’s bid for a top four slot was derailed by a broken alternator belt. His
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