After Andrew Jordan’s race two victory it was now Mat’s turn to stand on the top step. Jordan himself came to grief when he suffered a rear puncture on lap seven causing him to pit. He finished well down the order in twenty first.
Jackson had a brilliant start to launch past pole sitter Dan Welch in the Proton. Although Jackson could never pull completely clear he never looked like being challenged for the win.
Welch, having the best weekend for his team in years wasn’t put off by Jackson passing him and when Sam Tordoff tried to follow Jackson through, Welch wasn’t giving in. Tordoff eventually over did it and ran wide at Seagrave, dropping down the order and taking the pressure off Welch who now looked relatively comfortable in second place.
Sadly for Welch and his many fans, disaster was to strike on lap five when the failure of a bolt caused his Goodestone Racing Proton to run wide and slide into the tyre wall putting him out of the race. It emerged later that the bolt had also failed in race two but Welch had managed to keep the car on the road and even finish ninth but this time the sudden failure took him by surprise and he was off the track, out of the race.
Collard and Shedden had contact at the club chicane on lap seven but both managed to continue without losing too much time.
Jack Goff was now second in the IHG rewards BMW but he had Matt Neal right behind him in the Halfords Yuasa Honda. Neal found a way past on lap eight, leaving Goff to fall into the clutches of the other Honda of Gordon Shedden.
Shedden closed right up going through Church corner and as they headed up towards the Club chicane, Shedden went to make his move. Goff, in an attempt to out brake Shedden locked up and the two cars made contact, spinning onto the grass. Both continued but Shedden immediately pulled off with damage at the end of the front straight. Goff finished a long way down the order in eighteenth.
This left the way clear for Adam Morgan to claim third, the only driver this weekend to take a podium finish in all three races and one of only two repeat race winners along with Jackson.
Morgan may not have scored the podium if the race had run to the original full distance (Race two and three race lengths were reduced on advice from Dunlop.) the two MG’s of Josh Cook and Ashley Sutton were just two tenths behind as all three finished.
Behind them, Rob Collard took sixth in the Team JCT600 with GardX BMW, the points are enough to retain the championship lead he took in race two although he now holds it jointly with Honda’s Matt Neal.
Rob Austin took seventh, the popular driver now getting closer to where he hoped to be pre-season although he still wants to be much higher up the field!
Sam Tordoff recovered to eighth after his off early in the race while Challenging Welch.
Daniel Lloyd took ninth in the Eurotech Honda and with it, he won the Jack Sears trophy for the weekend. Eurotech’s new star was disappointed though as a mystery understeer issue had seen him drop from third on the grid. “A solid weekend” was how he described his first race meeting for Eurotech.
Tenth was Michael Epps, another driver having his best weekend in the championship to date. He followed up two points finishes earlier in the race with a top ten in this race.
Jeff Smith came up the field after his race two spin to finish eleventh in his Eurotech Honda, just ahead of team mate Martin Depper. Their pace this weekend had deserved more than the fourth and fifth place results they had in race one.
Thirteenth was Jake Hill, another driver suffering from bad luck, especially when he became involved in the race one shunt through no fault of his own.
Fourteenth was Ollie Jackson, a points scoring finish was a positive end to a difficult weekend although he had managed to complete all three races without any significant damage.
The final points scoring position was taken by Alex Martin in the Dextra Racing Focus. Kelvin Fletcher had his best finish so far with seventeenth, the soap star seems to be settling into the championship.
As mentioned Collard and Neal now jointly lead the drivers championship from Morgan, Jackson and Shedden. Goff and Tordoff are next up with Andrew Jordan now in eighth. Ninth and tenth are the MG duo of Ashley Sutton and Josh Cook.
In the Manufacturers championship, WSR lead Honda, MG and Subaru.
Adam Morgan is the leading independent driver from Jordan and Jackson and in the independent teams championship, Motorbase lead from Wix Racing, Eurotech and BKR.
Full results from the weekend are available from TSL timing including full championship table.
The championship returns on 4th and 5th June at Oulton Park in Cheshire. Advance tickets are already available from TSL.
We should be set for another weekend of exciting racing with hopefully a full thirty two car grid with the return of the Subaru team. By Marc Waller