Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Lewis Plato takes victory in Radical SR3 Challenge race at Brands Hatch
LEWIS Plato was a happy man after he drove a perfect race to take victory in the Radical SR3 Challenge this afternoon at Brands Hatch.
The Billericay driver qualified in third for the first race and moved up to second before taking advantage of a pit stop penalty to take the lead from Scott Malvern.
And not even the intervention of the safety car could stop Plato from finishing nine seconds ahead of Jesper Westerholm.
"It was a really good race for me and the race went according to plan," said Plato.
"I was happy with third in qualifying because it was wet and meant that I was on the right side of the grid.
"Malvern got a good start and it was just a case of knuckling down and conserving my tyres.
"I knew Malvern had a five second pit penalty and thought that would be where I could get past him.
"It was a free overtake really and I was able to get in front and open up a massive lead, so it wasn't a problem when the safety car came out."
Malvern took the lead off the grid and Plato settled into third behind pole sitter Stuart Moseley.
The Mectech Motorsport driver overtook his Marks Electrical rival on lap two going into Clearways.
He then set about closing down Malvern, setting a fastest lap of 45.392 seconds as gradually reeled the race leader in.
Plato got within three tenths of a second of the leader at one point before taking an early pit stop.
The Billericay racer rejoined in fifth and when Malvern pitted and received a five-second penalty for finishing third in the last race, Plato took the lead.
He opened up a 22-second gap on Westerholm and managed to get two back markers between him and the Swedish driver when the safety car came out after a car span at Clearways.
And when the race resumed, Plato was able to keep Westerholm at bay to finish 8.777 seconds ahead of him, with RAW Motosport driver Marcello Marateotto third, 12.917 seconds adrift of Plato after 48 laps.
Plato's Mectech team-mate Dan Vaughan finished second in the first of the two Radical Clubman's Cup races at Brands.
The Hampshire driver qualified third behind pole site Oskar Kruger and Ben Dimmock.
But he moved up to take second place after 26 laps to finish 0.534 seconds behind Kruger, with Steve Burgess third, just over a second behind Vaughan.