Austin beats Menu to race three at Rockingham as Turkington builds his championship lead


First lap (By Marc Waller)Exocet Rob Austin has won the third race at Rockingham after passing pole man Alain Menu off the line. Menu who had been drawn on pole in the reverse grid race, never looked like re-passing Austin after the start.

Behind the first two, there was a big battle for third eventually won by Andrew Jordan but not without a fight. Colin Turkington made a good start from sixth and was soon up to Jordan’s tail but he resisted the pressure. Close behind Turkington was Mat Jackson, Jason Plato and Rob Collard. Plato had tried his best to get past the Airwaves Focus but ultimately was passed by Collard. This of course led to further unhappiness from the MG driver about what he perceives as a rear wheel drive advantage. So with Jackson, Collard and Plato in fifth, sixth and seventh, Tordoff was eighth and was starting to hassle his team mate by the end.

Matt Neal was ninth after a disappointing weekend for Honda. Race three was even more disappointing for team mate Shedden who ran into Hunter Abbott seriously damaging his own car and putting Abbott’s out of the race. Abbott, who had been one of the stars of the first two races with his fights through the field wasn’t happy with Yuasa Honda driver, Shedden putting the blame firmly on him. Marc Hynes was also taken out in the same incident.

Austin took the lead off the start and then just pulled away (By Marc Waller)Plato tried to hold off Collard (By Marc Waller)Menu fights to hold on to second (By Marc Waller)Menu couldn't stop Austin but held on for second (By Marc Waller)Tenth was Dave Newsham of AMD who had come to the weekend with high hopes after his podium at Knockhill. Incidents in the first two races had slowed him down and ruled out another podium but tenth was some consolation.

Tom Ingram was eleventh ahead of Aron Smith who had been outshone by his Swiss team mate Menu this weekend. Thirteenth was Giovanardi just ahead of Jack Clarke in the sister team Crabbie’s racing Focus.

Taking the last point was Robb Holland who is starting to show some progress and will be hoping to move into the top ten before the end of the season.

The title race is now looking more like a two horse race as Shedden is now 64 points off the lead and nine back from second placed Plato. Both Turkington’s rivals will need two very good weekends in the rounds remaining at Silverstone and Brands Hatch if they are to stand any chance of taking the title. The championship is definitely starting to look like it’s Turkington’s to lose. He can’t relax though as a couple of DNF’s would open things right up again. It should be a great end to the season.

Full results from race three can be found here on TSL timing By Marc Waller

Jordan took third (By Marc Waller) Austin was dominant in the reverse grid race (By Marc Waller) Austin celebrates (By Marc Waller) Happy Austin on the podium (By Marc Waller) Champagne fight (photo by Marc Waller)

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