BTCC Brands Hatch: Jackson wins race one, rivals close on Shedden

Mat Jackson took victory in the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Brands Hatch, as Colin Turkington and Jason Plato made minor inroads into Gordon Shedden's points lead

BTCC Brands Hatch: Jackson wins race one, rivals close on Shedden

For the third meeting in a row Motorbase Ford Focus driver Jackson converted pole position into a race-one win.

Jackson managed two safety-car periods with ease and kept Aron Smith's Team BMR Volkswagen CC at arm's length throughout, ultimately prevailing by 0.7 seconds.

Smith, in turn, was clear of Adam Morgan, who completed the podium in his Ciceley Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

Turkington was first of the title protagonists home, though his and Plato's respective gains on Shedden were minimal.

A slightly slow start from Shedden allowed Turkington to get ahead into Paddock, while Plato tried to force his way through at Druids but was rebuffed.

Shedden looked as though he'd retained the position after holding on through Graham Hill Bend, but a nudge from Plato sent the Honda wide at Surtees and allowed the second VW through.

"Jason was more than aggressive on the first lap - which I can understand at Druids because sometimes it bunches up, but onto the GP loop that was the most blatant push to pass I've seen all season," Shedden said post-race.

"It massively affected my race. I'm pretty disappointed with that - it's not how you want to go racing."

After a safety-car period - for separate offs for Alex Martin's Ford Focus and Dave Newsham's Chevrolet Cruze - Plato pumped in a relatively quick lap on soft tyres, before backing up Shedden and preventing the Scot from setting a fast time.

They crossed the line in fourth, fifth and sixth but Plato's tactics banked him eighth on the grid for race two, one place ahead of Turkington - with Shedden to start 12th.

Shedden's Honda team-mate Matt Neal acted as rear-gunner throughout the 18-lap encounter, a role that proved most useful in the closing stages as he held off the late-charging Andy Priaulx.

Priaulx's WSR team-mate Rob Collard rose from 18th to make it two BMW 125i M Sports in the top 10, with Josh Cook's Power Maxed Racing Chevrolet in between the two in ninth.

MG's rank outsider in the title fight Andrew Jordan was one of three drivers starting in the midfield to sacrifice the opening race in order to set a better laptime for race two.

Jordan, team-mate Jack Goff and Team BMR stand-in Alain Menu all started from the pitlane, while Tom Ingram pited at the end of lap one - he fared best, banking fifth on the grid for the second encounter.

Jordan finished 19th, and is thus mathematically eliminated from the tile fight. Shedden now leads Plato by 22 points, with Turkington 29 points in arrears and Neal 38 points off the top.

RESULTS - 18 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 31m15.989s
2 Aron Taylor-Smith Team BMR Volkswagen 0.715s
3 Adam Morgan Ciceley Racing Mercedes 1.889s
4 Colin Turkington Team BMR Volkswagen 3.920s
5 Jason Plato Team BMR Volkswagen 5.696s
6 Gordon Shedden Honda Honda 7.260s
7 Matt Neal Honda Honda 7.783s
8 Andy Priaulx WSR BMW 8.213s
9 Josh Cook Power Maxed Chevrolet 8.631s
10 Rob Collard WSR BMW 8.965s
11 Sam Tordoff WSR BMW 9.935s
12 James Cole Motorbase Ford 12.599s
13 Mike Bushell AmD Ford 16.092s
14 Aiden Moffat Aiden Moffat Racing Mercedes 16.389s
15 Martin Depper Eurotech Honda 20.452s
16 Hunter Abbott Rob Austin Racing Audi 21.377s
17 Jake Hill AmD Audi 23.033s
18 Rob Austin Rob Austin Racing Audi 30.376s
19 Andrew Jordan MG MG 30.576s
20 Jack Goff MG MG 32.750s
21 Derek Palmer Jr. Infiniti Infiniti 35.687s
22 Tony Gilham Team Hard Toyota 35.814s
23 Simon Belcher Handy Motorsport Toyota 40.202s
24 Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda 1m02.459s
25 Tom Ingram Speedworks Motorsport Toyota 1m03.063s
26 Dave Newsham Power Maxed Chevrolet 1 Lap
- Daniel Welch Welch Motorsport Proton Retirement
- Alain Menu Team BMR Volkswagen Retirement
- Stewart Lines Houseman Racing Toyota Retirement
- Alex Martin Team Parker Ford Retirement

RACE TWO GRID:
Decided by race one fastest laps

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 1m31.387s -
2 Aron Taylor-Smith Team BMR Volkswagen 1m31.419s 0.032s
3 Adam Morgan Ciceley Racing Mercedes 1m31.485s 0.098s
4 Dave Newsham Power Maxed Chevrolet 1m31.567s 0.180s
5 Tom Ingram Speedworks Motorsport Toyota 1m31.769s 0.382s
6 Jack Goff MG MG 1m31.794s 0.407s
7 Andy Priaulx WSR BMW 1m31.808s 0.421s
8 Jason Plato Team BMR Volkswagen 1m31.837s 0.450s
9 Colin Turkington Team BMR Volkswagen 1m31.880s 0.493s
10 Andrew Jordan MG MG 1m32.060s 0.673s
11 Sam Tordoff WSR BMW 1m32.110s 0.723s
12 Gordon Shedden Honda Honda 1m32.142s 0.755s
13 Matt Neal Honda Honda 1m32.173s 0.786s
14 Rob Collard WSR BMW 1m32.284s 0.897s
15 Josh Cook Power Maxed Chevrolet 1m32.337s 0.950s
16 Aiden Moffat Aiden Moffat Racing Mercedes 1m32.341s 0.954s
17 James Cole Motorbase Ford 1m32.363s 0.976s
18 Jake Hill AmD Audi 1m32.366s 0.979s
19 Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda 1m32.426s 1.039s
20 Martin Depper Eurotech Honda 1m32.533s 1.146s
21 Rob Austin Rob Austin Racing Audi 1m32.564s 1.177s
22 Mike Bushell AmD Ford 1m32.670s 1.283s
23 Hunter Abbott Rob Austin Racing Audi 1m32.712s 1.325s
24 Derek Palmer Jr. Infiniti Infiniti 1m33.490s 2.103s
25 Tony Gilham Team Hard Toyota 1m33.673s 2.286s
26 Simon Belcher Handy Motorsport Toyota 1m34.492s 3.105s
27 Daniel Welch Welch Motorsport Proton 1m34.833s 3.446s
28 Alain Menu Team BMR Volkswagen 1m40.636s 9.249s
29 Stewart Lines Houseman Racing Toyota 1m34.384s 2.997s
30 Alex Martin Team Parker Ford - -


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BTCC Brands Hatch: Mat Jackson takes third straight pole position

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Brands BTCC: Mat Jackson wins, Jason Plato gains on Gordon Shedden

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