Mat Jackson has taken a dominant lights to flag victory in the first BTCC race at Silverstone. Gordon Shedden was unable to challenge him from second and fell back into the clutches of Andrew Jordan’s MG.
The race got underway with an incident at the first corner towards the rear of the field that saw several cars spin including Nicolas Hamilton. All the cars were able to rejoin safely and a safety car wasn’t needed. Several other runners including Andy Priaulx opted for a pit lane start to try and set a good time for the race two grid.
There were no issues for Mat Jackson though other than a brush with one of the Woodcote corner posts. Shedden, carrying maximum ballast failed to get away as well as Jackson and soon found himself passed by Andrew Jordan’s Pirtek MG. Jordan then pulled away slightly only to find his pace fading as the race went on. Shedden then closed and was right on his tail for the last couple of laps.
Despite dropping to third, Shedden extends his championship advantage as neither of the drivers in front of him are close rivals for the title. Plato, the closest rival to Shedden had a nightmare race losing a place to Matt Neal at the start, he was then unable to gain any ground before a puncture in the closing stages dropped him to twenty fifth place.
Dave Newsham had his best race of the season to fourth in the Power Maxed Racing Chevrolet. He was on Shedden’s tail for the entire race and as Shedden closed on Jordan in the final stages, Newsham was able to make it a three car battle for second.
Colin Turkington and Aron Smith were fifth and sixth for Team BMR, who are having a difficult weekend with team boss Warren out suffering from fractured vertebrae and not racing.
Rob Collard took seventh for WSR, a strong result considering he started twelfth. Matt Neal fought his way up to eighth in the second Yuasa Honda Civic only just ahead of Tom Ingram who is still on a high after his first podium last time out.
Tenth was Sam Tordoff, who had a disaster of a race after falling down the field from third on the grid.
Rob Austin just missed out on the top ten in his Excocet Alcosense Audi while his team mate Hunter Abbott opted to do a pitlane start to try and get a good race two grid position. The plan failed as he starts back on row 12!
Adam Morgan was twelfth after contact on the opening laps slowed his Wix Racing Mercedes. Martin Depper was the best Eurotech Honda driver in thirteenth with team mate Jeff Smith just missing out on a points scoring finish. Josh Cook took fourteenth and the best finish of the Jack Sears trophy competitors (For rookie drivers). Mike Bushell of AMD Tuning took the final point in his AMD Ford Focus. Jack Goff, who should have been a top ten finisher was another driver to get a puncture and this put him last of the finishers in twenty seventh.
Mat Jackson set the fastest lap as well as the win and so he takes pole for race two. Jack Goff gets second and so gets a chance to make up for his race one woes. Priaulx is third on the grid from Aron Smith in fourth. The rest of the top ten is Jordan, Shedden, Cole, Collard, Tordoff and Neal.
Race two gets underway at 14:32.
Full race results can be found on TSL timing here; By Marc Waller