Jackson wins the first race of the day at Brands Hatch

Jackson takes another win (Photo by Marc Waller)

Jackson takes another win (Photo by Marc Waller)Mat Jackson has won the first race on the final BTCC race day of the season.

He took a lights to flag win as BMR title contenders Turkington and Plato finished ahead of Honda rival Gordon Shedden to keep their championship hopes alive.

Jackson stormed off into the lead from pole as the lights went out with Aron Smith’s BMR VW and Adam Morgan’s Mercedes also maintaining their grid position. Turkington passed Shedden off the line and Plato tried to follow him past. The VW and Honda made contact at Druids and Shedden stayed ahead but when they touched again later in the lap at Surtees, Plato edged ahead.

With the top three settled as Jackson comfortably lead from Smith and Morgan, attention was on the championship battle behind but the BMR VW’s could comfortably stay ahead of Shedden.

Shedden actually had some unwanted attention from team mate Neal as they headed towards Druids. But Neal was never likely to seriously affect his team mates championship hopes and they settled down. The field was briefly closed up by a safety car after Alex Martin went off in the GP loop but once the green flag was given the same gaps reappeared between the leaders.

So it was Jackson, from Smith and Morgan. Then came the championship contenders, Turkington taking fourth from Plato with Shedden sixth ahead of Matt Neal in seventh.

The ninth to twelfth battle was the closest of the race (Photo by Marc Waller)The BMR cars attack Shedden at the start (Photo by Marc Waller)Smith celebrates with his fiance (Photo by Marc Waller)Jackson celebrates with the ITV4 viewers (Photo by Marc Waller)Champagne on the podium (Photo by Marc Waller)Andy Priaulx was a further four tenths back in eighth with Josh Cook taking ninth after a battle with Rob Collard’s WSR BMW that took tenth just ahead of his team mate Sam Tordoff.

James Cole took twelfth showing he is improving but he has a long way to go to catch up with his successful Motorbase team mate Jackson.

Mike Bushell was in thirteenth for AMD Tuning, a points finish in a very unlucky season for the local driver. Aiden Moffat was fourteenth and Martin Depper took the last points in fifteenth after passing Hunter Abbott on the final lap. Several cars opted to abandon their race in favour of dropping back and trying to set a quick time to get up the grid in race two. Alain Menu and Jack Goff were two that started from the pitlane. The gamble failed for Menu however when he had to pit with a problem and so he starts race two towards the back.

Jackson, who was out in front unsurprisingly took pole for race two ahead of Aron Smith and Adam Morgan. Dave Newsham, who had gone off on the first lap of race one, went on to set the fourth fastest time to take that position on the race two grid. Tom Ingram is fifth ahead of Jack Goff, whose pitlane start gamble partly paid off. Plato and Turkington are eighth and ninth but ahead of rival Shedden who starts twelfth. Andrew Jordan starts tenth but he is no longer a championship contender. Neal is also out of the title challenge and he starts thirteenth. By Marc Waller 

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