Matt Neal managed to secure his victory during race three of the day at Oulton Park, located in Cheshire. Meanwhile Sam Tordoff leaves the circuit with the championship lead. Tordoff is only on top of the standings by one point from Neal with both drivers now having pulled clear of the other competitors after both showed impressive performances during the third race.
Initially Honda were looking likely to score a one-two finish after Shedden had managed to pass Cook on the first lap of the race. The two Halfords and Yuasa backed cars managed to break away from the pack. Reigning champion Shedden was never close enough to teammate Neal to challenge for the lead. He was hit by bad luck on the penultimate lap of the race when he got a puncture, forcing him to drop right to the back of the field.
Josh Cook was already looking angry on track after the attack by Shedden early on in the race, he was now in a fairly heated and aggressive battle with Ingram’s Toyota. As the duo pushed and fought through the whole race, it let Jason Plato close up onto them and take advantage of their battle when Ingram was run on to the grass as the group of cars headed down to Lodge for the last time. He was determined not to let Cook past but in doing so he opened the door for Plato to drive round the outside and steal the final podium spot.
West Surrey Racing’s Rob Collard made his last move of the race as they headed to the chequered flag. This rounded off his impressive drive in his JCT600 with GardX backed BMW. The very experienced driver started from twenty-fifth on the grid and fight his way through to take sixth place at the flag. In the previous two races Collard was only able to take a twenty-third place finish in race one and twenty-fifth in race two. He beat Colin Turkington by 0.041 seconds to take sixth place with Colin finishing in seventh.
Andrew Jordan finished the race to take eighth place in his Motorbase Performance Ford Focus. Jake Hill and Adam Morgan managed to drive much better races to take the final two spots inside the top ten. In eleventh was the Volkswagen CC of Aron Smith with Ashley Sutton in his MG taking twelfth. Thirteenth went to Motorbase’s Mat Jackson whilst Alex Martin took a points finish in fourteenth. Martin Depper took fifteenth with Rob Austin following in sixteenth. Dan Welch brought his Goodstone Racing Proton home in seventeenth with Matt Simpson following him home in eighteenth. Hunter Abbott finished the race in nineteenth with youngster Aiden Moffat in twentieth. Twenty-first went to Chris Smiley with Kelvin Fletcher in twenty-second. Gordon Shedden was next in twenty-third after suffering a late puncture during the race. Warren Scott brought his Subaru home in twenty-fourth whilst Ollie Jackson finished the race in twenty-fifth, the last of the finishers.
There were quite a few drivers who were unable to finish the race duo to damage, incidents and mechanical failures. Dan Lloyd was involved in an incident at the hairpin forcing him to retire his Honda Civic Type R on the spot. Mark Howard and James Cole were another two drivers unable to finish the race. Michael Epps seemed to have no luck around the Cheshire circuit as he got a puncture mid race causing him to not be able to finish the race. Jeff Smith was another driver who was unable to finish the race whereas Jack Goff was unable to take the start due to an overheating engine and Stewart Lines was unable to complete a lap of the race before retiring somewhere around the circuit.
©Fay Tilley 5th June 2016.