The sixth race meeting of the season took place at Snetterton Circuit, located in Norfolk, at the end of July. Halfords Yuasa racing’s Gordon Shedden took a last gasp win to end a breathless day of racing at Snetterton, which included victories for Team BMR’s Colin Turkington and Motorbase’s Mat Jackson.
Shedden secured Honda’s first pole position in over three years during the qualifying session. Unfortunately for the Scotsman a win during race one failed to materialise. Team BMR’s Turkington won the first race after he managed to get past Shedden during a nearly race long battle. The opening race of the day was filled with bumper to bumper action for the first half, Turkington finally got past on lap eight of twelve. Shedden was unable to fight back, leaving Turkington to take the win and becoming the first driver to win three races during the season. Mat Jackson made the best start of the front runners as he blasted from fifth to third off the line. Jackson kept the leading two honest throughout the race whilst keeping Adam Morgan at bay. Jackson took third on the team’s 300th race in the BTCC. Adam Morgan finished the race in fourth ahead of Jason Plato in fifth and Tom Ingram in sixth. Seventh place went to Sam Tordoff followed by Matt Neal in eighth. Warren Scott crossed the line in ninth followed by teammate James Cole in tenth.
Mat Jackson went on to secure the win during race two with Turkington and Neal rounding off the podium. The Focus rocketed up past the two front row starters, before a multi car collision occurred behind. Team BKR’s Aron Smith and Power Maxed Racing’s Kelvin Fletcher came together on the exit of turn one. The massive incident came on the following lap when Dan Welch and Ollie Jackson came together as they ran down the Bentley straight. Dust filled the air, the unsighted Alex Martin, Hunter Abbott and Ashley Sutton were all caught up in the same incident due to not being able to see inside the dust. The cars were scattered across the circuit, several heavily damaged. The officials had no other choice but to stop the race.
At the restart Jackson produced an almost identical start to the first start, he blasted past Shedden off the line but had to wait until Hamilton corner before passing Turkington. Jackson was untroubled for the rest of the ten-lap race. Turkington followed to take second. The fight for the third spot on the podium was undecided until the last few laps of the race. Neal and Collard provided spectators with a superb battle. Collard looked to have made a move stick on Neal after the two ran side by side for the majority of lap eight. Neal fought back and retook the position. The Honda held on and stayed ahead to take third with Collard taking fourth. Adam Morgan finished the race in fifth ahead of Jason Plato in sixth and Tom Ingram in seventh. Sam Tordoff finished in eighth ahead of Rob Austin in ninth and Gordon Shedden in tenth.
Halfords Yuasa’s Shedden completed a sensational day of entertainment by taking a very unlikely last lap win in the final race of the weekend at Snetterton. A dramatic accident brought out the second red flag of the day when contact occurred between Mark Howard and Alex Martin and then Hunter Abbott was clipped by the two, Ollie Jackson had nowhere to go and was caught up in the accident. Abbott’s Chevrolet Cruze was launched into a barrel roll ending up landing on the barrier and knocking over a television gantry. This incident left a cameraman and a few drivers shaken but unhurt. Sam Tordoff was set to start on pole position but he broke down before the race was set to restart. He had to pull into the pits after the green flag lap. The drama was far from over, Collard pushed his way past Plato on lap two before Jackson and Shedden followed past on the next lap. Shedden was promoted into second when Jackson’s Focus slowed with a problem on the Bentley Straight. Shedden began closing in on Collard and was on the tail of the BMW as they started the final lap of the race. Shedden dived down the inside of Collard, they ran side by side for what seemed to be an eternity. Collard eventually had to give up the challenge and settle in second place after Shedden stormed to victory. Handy Motorsport’s Rob Austin took the final podium spot after fending off Plato, Jordan and Turkington to take the popular podium finish. Plato finished in fourth ahead of Andrew Jordan in fifth and Colin Turkington in sixth. Adam Morgan finished in seventh ahead of Aiden Moffat in eighth. Josh Cook finished the race in ninth ahead of Matt Neal in tenth.
Collard left the circuit in the lead of the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship by three points from teammate Sam Tordoff. Neal is a further three points behind Tordoff.
West Surrey Racing/Team JCT600 with GardX left on top of the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ championships. Andrew Jordan and Motorbase left the circuit in the lead of the Independents championships. Ashley Sutton left the circuit in the lead of the Jack Sears Trophy.
There were quite a few penalties handed out during the weekend. One of the penalties were handed to Team BKR, they were deducted ten points from both the Teams’ and Independent Teams’ championship after exceeding the amount of engines allowed.
After race one Martin Depper was given a verbal warning for an incident with teammate Jeff Smith. Matt Simpson was officially reprimanded and given two penalty points for an incident with Michael Epps.
After race two Warren Scott and Andrew Jordan both received a verbal warning for an incident on track. Ollie Jackson was fined £500 and was given three penalty points for an incident involving Dan Welch.
After the final race Alex Martin was officially reprimanded and handed two penalty points for the incident with Mark Howard. Mark Howard was verbally warned for his involvement in the same incident. Gordon Shedden was verbally warned for an incident involving Jason Plato.
©Fay Tilley 2nd January 2017