Jackson joins 2017 winners list
Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo driver Mat Jackson has taken his first BTCC race win of the season after seeing off an early effort from pole-sitter Ollie Jackson and a late challenge from Ash Sutton.
The AmD Audi of Ollie Jackson made a good getaway from P1 and defended valiantly from the striking yellow Ford Focus in the opening exchanges. The Audi S3 driver then dealt well with a brief safety car period, which was called following contact further down the order on the first lap, but a dream win would unfortunately fail to materialise.
Mat Jackson slipped his Motorbase-run machine down the inside of the Audi at Sunny and contact sent Ollie Jackson’s car onto the grass. The latter recovered to rejoin in tenth, but it had seemingly left Mat Jackson clear to take a commanding victory.
Nobody told race one winner Sutton, however, as he scrambled past Subaru team-mate Jason Plato at the final hairpin on lap seven to claim third. He then got a run on the Handy Motorsport Toyota of Rob Austin one lap later and completed a phenomenal move around the outside at turn one.
He immediately began reeling in Jackson’s Ford and the pair were locked together on the final lap. Sutton eyed his opportunity as they went side-by-side into the final hairpin but the experienced Jackson squeezed his younger rival on the exit and went on to claim a memorable win.
The drama wasn’t over, however, as both Austin and Plato locked horns across the line. When the timing screen updated it was Plato who had taken the final podium position by just 0.041s.
Matt Neal drove a brilliant race from 18th on the grid to take fifth, albeit as part of another exciting scrap with team-mate Gordon Shedden and the three BMWs of Colin Turkington, Andrew Jordan and Rob Collard.
Early leader Ollie Jackson took a hard earned tenth – his second impressive top ten finish of the day.
Mat Jackson said: “That was a massive win for the team, it’s just great. The car’s been quick all weekend and I’m very pleased with that – it’s another one for Luke (Davenport). I could see Rob Austin was there. I said I was just going to manage the tyres and we just managed to hold on when Ash (Sutton) made his charge. He came up quickly, went for the move around the outside and the road runs out there so yeah. If you’re a racing driver, that’s what you do – you’re there to win.”
Ash Sutton said: “I nearly got him. I thought he’d wait for the switchback so I thought I’d try something different. He put an end to it on the exit there but it was fair enough. We had a blinding start and picked three off on the first lap. The safety car gave us some breathing space in terms of looking after the tyres and as soon as the lights went green it was a case of crack on. I had to be a little bit more stationary, shall we say, when I came up to Jason (Plato), just waiting for him to make his move, but I needed to crack on and make the most of things. I did and it’s phenomenal to have two Subarus on the podium.”
Jason Plato said: “It’s good to be here. We’re not out of the woods yet. We’ve still got some work to do to see what’s what with my car, though. Race one was my mistake and it could have been a different day if not for that. We’ve had three consistent runs with the car and that’s something. If overtaking whilst you’re off the track is fine, then yes Ash’s move was okay. It wasn’t a legitimate overtake I didn’t think, the cheeky monkey! Rob (Austin) drives really well and he knows how to place a car. I couldn’t drive past him in a straight line like Ash did but on the last lap he was just a bit twitchy. I thought maybe I could beat him to the line with better traction and a better exit.”
David Bartum, Motorbase Performance team boss, said: “It’s been a bit of a drought but Mat (Jackson) and Martin (Depper) have worked really well today. Our thoughts are with Luke (Davenport), but we’ve got to get on with what we’ve got to do. We had three Indy wins and one outright. We miss him and we dedicated that to him. It’s a great day for the team on-track and we’ll go and find Luke and show him everything we’ve done today when we can. He’s a cracking lad and he’s a fighter. He’ll be back and we’ll see him here soon enough.”
2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 15 – Croft
1 Mat JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo 16 laps
2 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +0.877s
3 Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +16.032s
4 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +16.073s
5 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +16.517s
6 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +16.779s
7 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +17.575s
8 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +19.360s
9 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +21.336s
10 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts +21.800s
11 Martin DEPPER (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +24.265s
12 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +22.487s
13 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +23.397s
14 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +25.645s
15 Dave NEWSHAM (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +29.078s
16 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +29.747s
17 Ant WHORTON-EALES (GBR) AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts +30.252s
18 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +35.417s
19 Jake HILL (GBR) TAG Racing +37.121s
20 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +37.899s
21 Jack GOFF (GBR) Eurotech Racing +40.379s
22 Dennis STRANDBERG (SWE) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +40.975s
23 Josh COOK (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +1 lap
24 Josh PRICE (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +1m10.708s
25 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +15 laps
26 James COLE (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +15 laps
27 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +15 laps
28 Michael EPPS (GBR) Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing +15 laps
29 Will BURNS (GBR) Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing +15 laps