Smith’s victory brings the total number of drivers to win a race this season up to twelve and means that more than a third of the field have won a race, a BTCC record.
It was by far from an easy victory though as Smith had to deal with three safety car periods and challenges from Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden who both tried to take the lead at various stages.
It was Matt Neal and Mat Jackson who initially slotted in behind Smith off the line and Neal tried to put Jackson under pressure. But Neal’s team mate Shedden came charging past both Jackson and then his own team mate Neal as they struggled to keep pace. Shedden was on the medium compound tyre for this race and it appeared to be the tyre to have as Colin Turkington was also running the tyre as he made a determined charge up the field from sixteenth on the grid. Turkington fought his way up to third and looked to challenge Shedden for second but ran out of laps before he could find a way past crossing the line half a second away.
Rob Collard was also trying to make a charge up the order but he found himself unable to find a way past Jackson or Neal.
Jackson’s team mate Jordan found himself rather in the wars in this race and at one stage had to make an impressive save after he was knocked into a huge slide.
So at the flag it was Neal and Jackson behind the front trio but a distant 3 and a half seconds off. Collard settled for sixth as the two cars in front proved to be too hard to pass this time.
Collard’s team mate Tordoff had a difficult race on maximum ballast and he dropped to just outside the points in sixteenth although he retains the championship lead.
Morgan’s Wix Racing Mercedes scored more points in seventh with Jake Hill finding some luck to go with his pace for an impressive eighth. Moffat had a consistent day with a third points finish of the day, this time in ninth. Tenth was Jason Plato who had demoted AMD tuning’s Ollie Jackson out of tenth on the final lap.
Jackson was still happy with eleventh and seems to have found more pace and confidence over the race day today taking three finishes, two in the points. Jeff Smith was thirteenth behind in the wars Jordan with Hunter Abbot taking fourteenth. Josh Cook took the final points in his works MG.
Ashley Sutton was down in nineteenth but his results over the three races saw him awarded the Jack Sears trophy for best Rookie driver.
Tordoff leads the championship now by five points from Neal with Shedden third and Jackson fourth. Collard, Turkington and Jordan are next up.
It’s Jordan from Jackson in the independents with Morgan third and Ingram fourth.
WSR lead the manufacturers/constructors championship from Honda, Subaru and MG.
Honda lead the teams championship from JCT600 with Gardx (WSR), Motorbase and Silverline Subaru BMR.
The championship now heads to Silverstone and with just six races to go in total we’ll soon be able to see who the final championship contenders are.
2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 24 – Rockingham:
1 Aron SMITH (IRL) BKR 29m49.905s (74.13 mph)
2 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.400s
3 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Silverline Subaru BMR Racing +0.572s
4 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +3.491s
5 Mat JACKSON (GBR) Motorbase Performance +4.519s
6 Robert COLLARD (GBR) Team JCT600 Racing with GardX +4.936s
7 Adam MORGAN (GBR) WIX Racing +5.686s
8 Jake HILL (GBR) RCIB Insurance Racing +6.227s
9 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +10.578s
10 Jason PLATO (GBR) Silverline Subaru BMR Racing +10.899s
11 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) AmD Tuning.com +11.358s
12 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) Motorbase Performance +11.690s
13 Jeff SMITH (GBR) Eurotech Racing +12.611s
14 Hunter ABBOTT (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +12.913s
15 Josh COOK (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +13.478s
16 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team JCT600 Racing with GardX +14.466s
17 Alex MARTIN (GBR) Dextra Racing +14.924s
18 James COLE (GBR) Silverline Subaru BMR Racing +18.088s
19 Ash SUTTON (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +18.805s
20 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +19.035s
21 Martin DEPPER (GBR) Eurotech Racing +19.879s
22 Stewart LINES (GBR) Maximum Motorsport +20.159s
23 Michael EPPS (GBR) RCIB Insurance Racing +21.202s
DNF Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +4 laps
DNF Warren SCOTT (GBR) Silverline Subaru BMR Racing +6 laps
DNF Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +7 laps
DNF Mark HOWARD (GBR) BKR +8 laps
DNF Dave NEWSHAM (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +12 laps
DNF Tony GILHAM (GBR) TLC/RCIB Insurance Racing +15 laps
DNF Dan WELCH (GBR) Goodestone Racing +18 laps
DNF Jack GOFF (GBR) Team IHG Rewards Club By Marc Waller