Snetterton BTCC: Aron Smith wins after enthralling battle
|By Kevin Turner||Sunday, August 3rd 2014, 16:53 GMT|
Aron Smith took his second reversed-grid victory of 2014 in the British Touring Car finale at Snetterton after an enthralling battle.
Smith's BMR Volkswagen Passat led from pole, but always had to keep an eye on his mirrors, with Fabrizio Giovanardi's Motorbase Ford Focus leading the chase for much of the race.
The pack behind shuffled constantly. Matt Neal's works Honda Civic Tourer tapped Adam Morgan's Ciceley Mercedes out the way at Agostini on lap two to move into fourth.
He was followed by championship leader Colin Turkington's WSR BMW, which then took the fight to the Honda.
Neal defended hard and, on lap seven of 12, was hit under braking for Montreal by the BMW driver. The Civic Tourer recovered but would finish outside the top 10.
Morgan tried to take advantage, but was shuffled back, allowing Turkington to close up to the lead trio of Smith and the two Motorbase Fords of Mat Jackson and Giovanardi, which had switched at the same time as the Neal-Turkington clash.
At one stage, the top eight was covered by just 2.5 seconds, with title rivals Jason Plato and Gordon Shedden chasing Turkington, and followed by Sam Tordoff's MG and Rob Collard - up from row nine.
At the front, Jackson put former team-mate Smith under huge pressure, but the VW ace held firm to take the flag by just 0.4s.
Giovanardi, unlike most of the frontrunners using the hard tyre, looked set to complete the podium until he slid off at the Bomb Hole on the final lap. As he got back up to speed he was pushed into a spin by Collard's BMW, which had already overtaken Tordoff.
Turkington thus completed the podium to extend his championship lead, followed by Plato, Shedden and Collard.
Reigning champion Andrew Jordan missed the final race of the Snetterton weekend on medical grounds.
Results - 12 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Aron Smith BMR VW 24m05.815s 2. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford +0.444s 3. Colin Turkington WSR BMW +1.160s 4. Jason Plato MG +2.227s 5. Gordon Shedden Honda +2.598s 6. Rob Collard WSR BMW +3.014s 7. Sam Tordoff MG +3.586s 8. Adam Morgan Ciceley Mercedes +4.428s 9. Marc Hynes MG +5.197s 10. Jack Goff BMR VW +5.315s 11. Matt Neal Honda +8.464s 12. Glynn Geddie UA Toyota +15.289s 13. Fabrizio Giovanardi Motorbase Ford +15.488s 14. Alain Menu BMR VW +16.293s 15. Dave Newsham AmD Ford +17.587s 16. Aiden Moffat Moffat Chevrolet +19.071s 17. Tom Ingram Speedworks Toyota +19.457s 18. Rob Austin RAR Audi +27.003s 19. Lea Wood Houseman Toyota +33.079s 20. Hunter Abbott RAR Audi +39.258s 21. Dan Welch Welch Proton +39.877s 22. Jack Clarke Motorbase Ford +41.142s 23. Simon Belcher Handy Toyota +48.384s 24. Ollie Jackson Welch Proton +50.298s 25. James Cole UA Toyota +57.709s Retirements: Warren Scott BMR VW 7 laps Robb Holland Rotek Audi 7 laps Chris Stockton BTC Chevrolet 4 laps Martin Depper Eurotech Honda 2 laps Nick Foster WSR BMW 2 laps