BTCC Brands Hatch Race one – Collard wins as Priaulx fades

Collard great start was the key to his win (photo by Marc Waller)Rob Collard has won the first BTCC race of the season here at Brands Hatch in his JCT600 Racing with Gardx BMW.

Andy Priaulx in the sister Team IHG car led off pole and had looked set for a great victory on his return. However he was on soft tyres for this race and they faded sending him falling down the order. He eventually finished in ninth.

Collard’s win was made possible by a great start which saw him shoot from fifth up to second by the time the cars reached Druids. Aron Smith and Jason Plato then followed the two BMW’s for the rest of the race until Priaulx’s tyre issues. Plato couldn’t find his way past Smith despite setting a faster lap.

Jack Goff’s MG6 followed the leading pack in fifth initially after passing BMR’s Colin Turkington. That then became forth after Priaulx’s tyres gave up. Goff was actually also on soft tyres but managed to look after his better than Priaulx.

Turkington managed to hold off Gordon Shedden but could do nothing about Goff although their lap times were similar.

Jordan’s MG didn’t move very far forward from his tenth starting slot and he even seemed to have more trouble than those ahead when it came to passing the ailing Priaulx. The team had set up issues with Jordan’s car in qualifying and his race pace suggests they hadn’t entirely been solved. Matt Neal in the other Civic Type R was behind him, the last car to pass Priaulx.

Tom Ingram lost out slightly in his Speedworks Toyota, dropping to tenth from his ninth place grid slot.

Eleventh was Wix Racing’s Adam Morgan was just outside the top ten with the other Mercedes built by his team, Aiden Moffat’s Laser Tools racing machine, just behind him.

Josh Cook had a good debut for Power Maxed Racing with thirteenth is his Chevrolet Cruze. Fourteenth was Rob Austin, not going as quick as he hoped. The final points scorer was Tordoff who was another driver to find his soft tyres faded during the race.

New for 2015 is a change to how the race two grid is decided with the fastest lap times from race one deciding the line up. This has left Plato on pole from Priaulx, Shedden, Collard Turkington and Smith.

For the full grid and race results see TSL timing.  By Marc Waller

The train early in the race (photo by Marc Waller) Shedden was close behind but couldn't progress (photo by Marc Waller) Josh Cook had a good debut (photo by Marc Waller) Race one Podium (photo by Marc Waller)

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