Team BMR duo nip by Shedden as Jackson wins
Team BMR RCIB Insurance’s Colin Turkington and Jason Plato made minor inroads into Gordon Shedden’s points advantage in the opening Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race at Brands Hatch, as Motorbase’s Mat Jackson claimed victory.
The front-running trio of Jackson’s Ford Focus, Aron Smith’s VW and Adam Morgan’s Mercedes held station throughout the race to complete the podium positions, but it was all eyes on the championship battle behind them.
The action kicked off as soon as the lights went out as Turkington surged down the inside of Shedden’s Honda Civic Type R into Paddock Hill Bend to take fourth. Plato immediately tried to follow suit with the title protagonists making minor contact at Druids. Another touch followed at Surtees and Plato was through and up into fifth position.
A safety car period followed as Dave Newsham’s Power Maxed Racing’s Chevrolet went straight on at Hawthorns, whilst Jake Hill’s Audi tagged Alex Martin’s Ford into the barrier on the exit of the same turn.
A quick clean up operation followed and critically for Shedden, his team-mate Matt Neal had squeezed by Team IHG Rewards Club driver Andy Priaulx. Acting as a rear gunner for much of the race, Neal seemingly protected Shedden from any further attacks and was able to minimise the points damage to both Turkington and Plato.
“It was okay but it could have been better,” said championship leader Shedden. “Jason Plato was aggressive on lap one. You expect it to happen into Druids where it all bunches up but he pushed again at Surtees. This massively hindered my race as I couldn’t set a fast lap, but we only lost a point.”
The battle for ninth and tenth was arguably the most fiercely fought out as the West Surrey Racing BMWs of Sam Tordoff and Rob Collard attacked Josh Cook’s Chevrolet. Tordoff lost out to team-mate Collard at Druids on lap 11 but his experienced team-mate could not find a way past dominant Jack Sears Trophy runner Cook.
Shedden now leads the Drivers’ standings by 22 points from Plato, with Turkington a further seven points in arrears. Neal remains in contention for Honda Yuasa Racing while MG’s Andrew Jordan has dropped out of the title fight after his 19th place finish.
Critically both Plato and Turkington will again start the second contest ahead of Shedden, with the trio lining up in eighth, ninth and 12th respectively. Jackson is again on pole with Smith completing the front row positions.
Race two gets underway at 14:20 with the action being broadcast live and exclusively on ITV4 throughout the day.
Round 28 – 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship
1 Mat JACKSON (GBR) Motorbase Performance
2 Aron SMITH (IRL) Team BMR RCIB Insurance
3 Adam MORGAN (GBR) WIX Racing
4 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMR RCIB Insurance
5 Jason PLATO (GBR) Team BMR RCIB Insurance
6 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Honda Yuasa Racing
7 Matt NEAL (GBR) Honda Yuasa Racing
8 Andy PRIAULX (GBR) Team IHG Rewards Club
9 Josh COOK (R) (GBR) Power Maxed Racing
10 Robert COLLARD (GBR) JCT600 Racing with GardX
11 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) JCT600 Racing with GardX
12 James COLE (GBR) Motorbase Performance
13 Mike BUSHELL (R) (GBR) AmD Tuning.com
14 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing
15 Martin DEPPER (GBR) Eurotech Racing
16 Hunter ABBOTT (GBR) Exocet AlcoSense
17 Jake HILL (GBR) AmD Tuning.com
18 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Exocet AlcoSense
19 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) MG 888 Racing
20 Jack GOFF (GBR) MG 888 Racing
21 Derek P ALMER (R) (GBR) Support Our Paras Racing
22 Tony GILHAM (GBR) RCIB Insurance Racing
23 Simon BELCHER (GBR) Handy Motorsport
24 Jeff SMITH (GBR) Eurotech Racing
25 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport
26 Dave NEWSHAM (GBR) Power Maxed Racing
DNF Daniel WELCH (GBR) Welch Motorsport
DNF Alain MENU (SUI) Team BMR RCIB Insurance
DNF Stewart LINES (R) (GBR) Houseman Racing
DNF Alex MARTIN (R) (GBR) Dextra Racing