Joy for Jackson at Knockhill
Mat Jackson has taken the 20th BTCC victory of his career and the first in nearly two years with a flawless performance in the second contest at Knockhill.
Honda Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal made a good getaway from pole position but it turned out to be too good as he was adjudged to have jumped the start by the race officials. Before the double champion could take his drive-through penalty there was drama immediately behind when Rob Austin tried to round Neal on the exit of turn one. Austin’s Audi A4 ran off the circuit and when he returned to the track there was contact with the sister Honda of Gordon Shedden. The Scotsman was spun to the rear of the field while Austin continued in third behind MG’s Jason Plato.
Jackson was able to extend his advantage while those behind him battled fiercely and the former championship runner-up claimed a commanding win, much to the delight of his Airwaves Racing team. “Today has been a very long time coming,” he said. “The car has been absolutely fantastic this weekend, and it’s massive thanks to the team that have worked so hard for so long to get us back to the top step of the podium. We ran the soft tyre in that one and it’s working really well. Let’s hope wins come like London buses now, we could do with a few more!”
Austin and Plato tussled for position throughout the contest but the places remained static for the duration. “That was another win that might have been, but it’s another podium so don’t think for a moment that I’m complaining,” said Austin. “The car is mega around Knockhill, and I think we had the pace to match the cars in front. I was never quite close enough to get Jason at the hairpin, but I enjoyed the challenge!”
MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save’s Plato was equally delighted to keep his championship challenge firmly on track, “We’ve definitely improved the car from race one,” he said. “The soft tyre is working really well around here today – judging by what we’ve seen so far in the first two races you’d have to say we’re looking good for race three. Knockhill isn’t one of our better circuits, so I’m really pleased to be up here again.”
Most of the action in the latter half of the race came behind the lead trio as championship leader Colin Turkington produced a masterclass drive from the back of the field to finish fourth. The eBay Motors driver made pass after pass with his final manoeuvre seeing off the attentions of Adam Morgan’s Mercedes, who also lost out to Turkington’s team-mate Rob Collard before the finish. It was a triple celebration for eBay Motors as Nick Foster finished tenth and then picked out his own position in the reverse grid draw, meaning he’ll start on pole for the final contest.
Tom Ingram came out on top of an eye-catching scrap against Dave Newsham for seventh while Fabrizio Giovanardi claimed ninth. The reward for the trio is that they’ll all start the final race from the first two rows.
Click here for the final classification of race 2 from Knockhill.