Collard wins as Subarus clash
Rob Collard claimed the second Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race at Croft after Subaru’s Colin Turkington and Jason Plato clashed while battling for the lead.
It was the duel between Turkington and Plato that provided the main storyline throughout the race, which initially seemed to favour the latter. Plato made a brilliant start and was able to sail around the outside of his team-mate into turn one.
Turkington hounded his Silverline Subaru BMR Racing stablemate during the early laps and regained the lead at Tower on lap four, but the battle was far from over. Plato tagged Turkington’s Levorg into the same corner at mid-distance, sending both cars sliding wide, as the West Surrey Racing duo of Jack Goff and Rob Collard looked on.
Team IHG Rewards Club’s Goff hesitated in the melee but Collard needed no second invitation as he blasted his Team JCT600 with GardX machine from fourth to first in the blink of an eye. As the Subarus straightened out it was Plato lying in second with Turkington now demoted to third.
The incident seemed to stunt the pace and progress of both Subarus, leaving the top four places unchanged until the finish, handing Collard a well deserved victory and the 50th podium in his BTCC career. Plato and Turkington completed the rostrum positions, with Goff taking a hard earned fourth.
“If in doubt, flat out!” said Collard, when describing his move for the lead. “I was boxed in behind Jack Goff but then the two Subarus touched and a gap appeared. It was an extremely small gap but it was just big enough to get into, and thankfully Jason gave me room. It’s a great result for the whole team and really good for our championship.”
The scrap behind was several seconds adrift as Ashley Sutton produced his second mature and consistent performance of the day. The ultimate pace in the MG6 doesn’t quite seem to be there in race conditions at Croft, which has forced Sutton to defend in valiant fashion. He held on admirably yet again, as he did in race one, to take fifth ahead of Motorbase Performance’s Mat Jackson.
Tom Ingram held Sam Tordoff at bay to secure seventh, but the latter had reason to cheer after the race. The championship leader worked hard over the closing laps to pull identical moves on Matt Neal and Andrew Jordan on the exit of the Hairpin, and his reward was a reverse grid pole position for race three. Jordan and Neal completed the top ten order.
Tordoff now leads the standings from Neal by two points, whilst Collard’s win moves him to within seven points of the championship summit. Race three takes place at 5pm with every minute being screened live on ITV4.
2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 14 – Croft
1 Robert COLLARD (GBR) Team JCT600 Racing with GardX 23m59.017s
2 Jason PLATO (GBR) Silverline Subaru BMR Racing +2.341s
3 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Silverline Subaru BMR Racing +5.152s
4 Jack GOFF (GBR) Team IHG Rewards Club +7.038s
5 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +12.363s
6 Mat JACKSON (GBR) Motorbase Performance +15.335s
7 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +15.815s
8 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team JCT600 Racing with GardX +16.062s
9 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) Motorbase Performance +17.782s
10 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +18.117s
11 Aron SMITH (IRL) BKR +18.715s
12 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +19.489s
13 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +20.447s
14 Josh COOK (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +26.371s
15 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) AmD Tuning.com +30.794s
16 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +35.166s
17 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +36.961s
18 Jeff SMITH (GBR) Eurotech Racing +39.323s
19 Hunter ABBOTT (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +40.350s
20 Jake HILL (GBR) RCIB Insurance Racing +41.919s
21 Stewart LINES (GBR) Maximum Motorsport +42.122s
22 Kelvin FLETCHER (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +46.511s
23 Dan LLOYD (GBR) Eurotech Racing +49.851s
24 Chris SMILEY (GBR) TLC/RCIB Insurance Racing +50.879s
25 Alex MARTIN (GBR) Dextra Racing with Team Parker +51.612s
26 Warren SCOTT (GBR) Silverline Subaru BMR Racing+59.090s
27 Mark HOWARD (GBR) BKR +1m06.051s
28 Martin DEPPER (GBR) Eurotech Racing +1m10.388s
DNF Daniel WELCH (GBR) Goodstone Racing +4 laps
DNF Michael EPPS (GBR) RCIB Insurance Racing +5 laps
DNF Adam MORGAN (GBR) WIX Racing +8 laps
DNF James COLE (GBR) Silverline Subaru BMR Racing