BTCC – Collard steals a surprise Scottish win in race one

Jackson pulls into second at the start (Photo by Marc Waller)

Jackson pulls into second at the start (Photo by Marc Waller)Rob Collard snatched a victory in the opening BTCC race here at Knockhill. Mat Jackson had led for much of the race but was passed by Collard in the later stages.

It was one of the closest races of the season so far with the whole of the top eight nose to tail and often also side by side round the short Scottish circuit.

Andy Priaulx had actually led off the line but a fast starting Mat Jackson soon passed both the front row starting WSR BMW’s to lead. Tordoff was passed off the grid and then Priaulx lost his lead as they entered the hairpin. Tordoff also lost out to team mate Collard with the two making contact as they fought for third.

Tordoff then started plummeting down the order as next Shedden’s Honda and Rob Austin’s Audi A4 passed the BMW.

Austin and Shedden then fought for third and came across Stewart Lines Toyota who was already being lapped. The two had to swerve to avoid the Toyota leaving them to make contact.

Further contact was made down the field when Jack Goff punted off Aiden Moffat’s Mercedes at the chicane. The move was judged to be Goff’s. It’s his third “strike” meaning he’ll start race two from the back.

Dan Welch and Jeff Smith both then spun going down hill at the first corner. Despite happening simultaneously the two incidents were unrelated. Smith got going again but Welch had suspension failure and was out. A Safety car was then called to retrieve the anti corner-cutting barrier which had been dislodged at the chicane. 

Proton bouncing across the grass and a Safety Car period was called shortly after to repair the dislodged safety stack.

Jackson leads early in the race (Photo by Marc Waller) Bushell took Jack Sears honours (Photo by Marc Waller) Collard celebrates on the podium (Photo by Marc Waller)

It was as the race resumed that everything changed. Priaulx tried to attack Jackson for the lead but his move failed and the resulting loss of momentum let Collard pass at the hairpin.

Tordoff meanwhile had dropped to seventh but started his fightback passing first Neal and then the battling duo of Shedden and Austin. He then started closing on the top three but ran out of laps and had to settle for fourth. Shedden defeated Austin’s Audi to take fifth and team mate Neal also fought his way past for sixth. With Austin in seventh, Andrew Jordan came through in eighth having an unremarkable race by his standards.

Adam Morgan took ninth for the Wix Racing team in his Mercedes while Colin Turkington was the best finisher for BMR in tenth.

In the Jack Sears trophy battle for Rookie drivers, it had been Mike Bushell and Jake Cook who had a race long battle. Bushell stayed ahead for much of the race but Cook drew alongside at the final hairpin. The two ran side by side to the line, Bushell taking it by 0.008 of a second. He was also fifteenth overall. The other points finishers were Jack Goff in eleventh, Jeff Smith in twelfth, Warren Scott in thirteenth and Martin Depper fourteenth.

Jason Plato sacrificed this race to try and gain a good starting position for race two but his gamble didn’t really pay off as he only managed eighth fastest time. Fastest was Mat Jackson who starts race two on pole from Shedden, Austin and Collard.

.Full results are on TSL timing. By Marc Waller


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