Jackson Wins Again As Championship Goes To Deciding Race


Mat Jackson made it two from two in the second Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race of the day at Brands Hatch, one that saw Jason Plato slash the series lead of Gordon Shedden dramatically.

A championship-deciding final race is set after Shedden could only manage 19th place in the second race in Kent, Plato ending sixth to trim the gap to 12 points with one race to go.

In a similar manner to race one, Mat Jackson shot away from pole position into an early lead while second place was taken by Adam Morgan‘s Mercedes A-Class into Paddock Hill Bend as he and Tom Ingram both slid up the inside of the Team BMR Volkswagen CC of Aron Smith.

The race was quickly under safety car conditions however, as Martin Depper lost the back end of his Honda Civic Type-R coming through Clearways and was collected by the Audi A4 of Rob Austin. Derek Palmer also suffered a separate incident at the same corner, leading to several laps delay.

The initial mover on the restart was Plato, who trimmed the points gap to 13 behind Shedden with a swift move on the BMW of West Surrey Racing‘s Andy Priaulx into Paddock Hill Bend.

Shedden moved into the points with a move at the same bend a lap later on Jeff Smith for 15th, however the championship leader struggled for pace and soon dropped back out of the points-paying slots after a wide moment at Hawthorn on lap 14.

Plato joined onto the back of the battle for fourth place, lead by his team-mate Smith with Dave Newsham slotting his Power Maxed Racing Chevrolet Cruze ahead of Jack Goff‘s MG at Paddock Hill Bend on lap 10. The Inverness racer then disposed of Smith at Clearways, before the Irishman moved aside to let team-mate Plato inherit sixth spot.

Smith then found himself grimly defending from the second Honda of Matt Neal, resulting in a concertina effect as the latter tagged his Volkswagen rival sideways at Stirlings. The three WSR BMWs joined in the dice, Rob Collard briefly taking advantage to pass Neal before the Honda returned the favour at Paddock Hill Bend.

Up front, Jackson’s Ford Focus ST began feeling the effects of 75kg of success ballast as Morgan and Ingram upped the pressure on the race leader, Ingram’s Speedworks Toyota Avensis slotting past the Mercedes for second place at Stirlings.

Jackson fended off any further attack however, denying the former Ginetta Junior and GT Supercup champion a maiden BTCC win on his way to a fourth win of the season.

Neal and Colin Turkington both drop out of championship contention after the second race, the latter forced to pull over with mechanical problems on the final lap of the race.

Championship permutations say that Shedden now holds a slimmer 12-point series lead heading into the final race of the season over Plato, Shedden starting 19th in race three of the day.

Race three gets underway at 17:09, and you can keep up with the action here at www.thecheckeredflag.co.uk, or via Twitter at @tcfBTCC.