Colin Turkington kept his title hopes alive by taking a lights to flag victory during the opening race at Brands Hatch in Kent. He showed dominant form during the qualifying session and he backed up the Subaru form by dominating race one to take the win. The Subaru Levorg got a good start off the line and managed to pull clear away from the pack. On the way to his fourth win of the season Turkington set the fastest lap of the race.
The chasing pack was headed by Handy Motorsport’s Rob Austin who had to defend from Jason Plato and Josh Cook throughout the whole race. Whilst Plato was all over the rear of Austin’s Toyota, he was never close enough to make a move stick. Worse was yet to come for the experienced racer as Cook dived past on the last corner of the last lap to snatch third from Plato. Due to Plato finishing in fourth it rules him out of title contention. Motorbase’s Andrew Jordan’s title hopes are wearing thin after he was caught in an incident on lap two. Matt Neal in the Halfords backed Honda Civic Type R looked to have clipped the Chevrolet of Hunter Abbott which sent him spinning. Unfortunately Andrew Jordan had nowhere to go, this causing his race to be ended on the spot at Druids. Reigning champion Gordon Shedden in the second of the Halfords backed Honda Civic Type R had a fight with Jack Goff in the IHG Rewards Club BMW to take fifth place after their early battle. This finish puts the Scottish driver just six points off of the standings as he tries to close in on Tordoff.
WIX Racing’s Adam Morgan pushed his Mercedes in between the two Halfords Yuasa Hondas to take sixth as Matt Neal fought to make ground up in his fight to take a record equalling fourth British Touring Car Championship title by finishing the race in seventh. Aiden Moffat and Ashley Sutton finished in eighth and ninth respectively, Sutton made quite a few of eye catching moves during the race. The MG driver diced past Mat Jackson and Jack Goff in one move on the approach to Druids to take tenth place on the seventh lap of the race. He then went on to pass Tordoff later in the race.
This race was damage limitation for Sam Tordoff, he still showed an impressive performance whilst carrying maximum ballast. His advantage in the points dropped to a slim six points, both Shedden and Neal are close behind the BMW driver. Rob Collard stays in fourth place in the championship fight, just one point ahead of ex-teammate Turkington. Mat Jackson is two points behind Turkington. Andrew Jordan’s chance has begun fading dramatically whilst Plato’s have been extinguished.
Mat Jackson finished the race in eleventh ahead of Team JCT600 with GardX’s Rob Collard and WSR teammate Jack Goff. Fourteenth went to Tom Ingram after he fought through the pack from thirty-first. Fifteenth was RCIB Insurance Racing’s Jake Hill with teammate Michael Epps in sixteenth. Martin Depper finished in seventeenth for Eurotech Racing with AmDTuning.com’s Ollie Jackson finishing in eighteenth, splitting the two Eurotech Racing Honda’s with Jeff Smith finishing in nineteenth. Speedwork’s Matt Simpson finished in twentieth ahead of Dextra Racing’s Alex Martin in twenty-first. Goodestone’s Daniel Welch finished the race in twenty-second followed home by Team BMR’s James Cole in twenty-third. Twenty-fourth was Kelvin Fletcher with Maximum Motorsport’s Stewart Lines in twenty-five.
There were six non finishers, these were: Team BKR’s Mark Howard and Aron Smith, Team BMR’s Warren Scott, RCIB Insurance Racing’s Tony Gilham, Power Maxed Racing’s Hunter Abbott and Motorbase’s Andrew Jordan.
©Fay Tilley 3rd October 2016.