Jackson wins while champions provide thriller
Mat Jackson cruised to his second victory of the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship as he got the better of his Airwaves Racing team-mate Fabrizio Giovanardi in the early stages before scampering off into the distance in the final race at Silverstone. Aron Smith also made his way past the Italian later in the contest to claim a lonely second place finish.
The fight for the final podium position will live long in the memory as five former champions went doorhandle-to-doorhandle in an epic battle.
Giovanardi’s Focus was proving to be the cork in the touring car bottle as a gaggle of cars swarmed behind him following a brief safety period, which was required after heavy contact between James Cole’s Toyota, Robb Holland’s Audi and Martin Depper’s Honda left all three cars out of the race on the opening lap.
The pulsating racing action was soon back underway as Smith made his move by Giovanardi to scupper Airwaves Racing’s hopes of a one-two finish. Jackson and Smith immediately sped away leaving Giovanardi to fend off an army of cars behind him.
Championship leader Colin Turkington eyed every opportunity to get past before finally making a concrete attempt at the end of lap 19, which launched a sensational sequence of events.
Giovanardi and Turkington touched while running side-by-side across the finish line, as the VW of Alain Menu also joined the fray. As the two squabbled over the same piece of tarmac Menu cleverly wedged his VW up the inside of both of them and into third place through Copse.
They were three abreast on the run down to Becketts before Jason Plato made it four former champions in the fight. Plato’s MG tapped the rear of Turkington’s BMW at the tight turn, which speared the Ulsterman’s car into Giovanardi. The Italian impressively saved the car as it spun wide but not before he had been bumped down the order.
It was three-wide again down the Wellington Straight with reigning champion Andrew Jordan now looking to join the party. As the cars roared into Brooklands it was Turkington who emerged in third place immediately followed by Plato, Menu and Jordan. The quartet were eventually covered by little more than a second as they finished the race.
WIX Racing’s Adam Morgan and Honda Yuasa Racing’s Gordon Shedden had the best seats in the house as they came home in seventh and eighth respectively, whilst Team BMR capped off another fantastic day with Warren Scott and Jack Goff rounding out the top ten – completing Scott’s best ever weekend in the BTCC and the first time all four of his team’s VWs have secured top ten positions.