Jason Plato added a second win to his tally at Brands Hatch, continuing a tremendous start to the British Touring Car season.
After starting from pole by virtue of his race one win the reigning champion led race two from flag to flag in race two, under largely minimal pressure from Mat Jackson who ran second for much of the race.
The Airwaves Racing driver had fallen into second after the first lap. Tom Chilton made a nightmare start from third on the grid – dropping down to seventh – and Jackson clung on around the outside of James Nash at Paddock Hill Bend from the start. Nash briefly got very sideways on the drop down hill, in what briefly looked destined to be another of the weekend's big accidents. However, Nash gathered the 888 Vectra back into a straight line, though he dropped back to fourth, Alex MacDowall following Jackson through.
Behind Tom Boardman's ill luck continued. One of a number of very fast starters from the back of the grid – Andrew Jordan and Matt Neal also included – Boardman charged up the inside towards the apex of the first corner only to find his path blocked by Tom Onslow–Cole's AmD Volkswagen. The speed differential ensured that contact was inevitable and Boardman's last minute attempt to take to grass insufficient to avoid it, and the safety car was once more called out while the SEAT and VW were recovered from the track.
Unlike in race one Plato was unable to jump into a lead after the safety car period, Jackson instead latching onto the bumper of the Chevrolet Cruze on the restart, but Jackson himself was soon under pressure from Gordon Shedden.
Shedden had been handed third after the safety car period when Alex MacDowall was called in to serve a drive-through penalty for jumping the start and as the first man on the grid without any ballast from race one was always likely to be a threat from sixth on the grid.
Despite the extra weight Jackson appeared a match for the rapid Civic, holding off Shedden as both they and fourth place Nash began to close in on Plato, the front four concertinaing into a little more than a second for a few laps.
However, Jackson soon began to drop away – his Ford Focus seemingly losing far more pace than Nash's Vectra in race on and with only three laps left Jackson's defending was finally undone, but only after half a lap of side-by-side battling with Shedden. Jackson had initially run wide at Druids, allowing Shedden by, only for the little red Airwaves devil to retake the place at Graham Hill Bend.
The pair then frantically jostled down the short blast of Cooper Straight, before Jackson ran wide again at Clearways allowing Shedden alongside down the front straight, Jackson finally yielding half down the straight, settling for third.
However, just as Shedden's race one charge was the performance of race one, it was charges through the pack which provided much of the excitement again in race two.
Both Andrew Jordan and Matt Neal started from the rear of the field after race one problems and they proceeded to march through the rest of the grid in tandem throughout the race.
Like Shedden they were inside the top ten after only a matter of laps – Jordan leading the pair inheriting tenth as MacDowall's drive-through rippled through the order.
Rob Collard, Tony Gilham, Dave Newsham and Chilton were all inhaled by the advancing pair on their way to sixth and seventh, Neal breaking the lap record in the process with a time of 48.498 seconds. It was a story ended by the drawing of seven in the grid inversion for the third race, giving Matt Neal the pole position in a repeat of the front row for the season opener. Also included in the grid inversion in Paul O'Neill who drove a quiet race to fifth place.
Tom Chilton is the first man outside the reverse grid in eighth, Collard and Gilham completed the points positions.
BTCC Brands Hatch Race Two Results (unofficial)
|1||1||Jason Plato||Silverline Chevrolet||26 laps in 22:21.689|
|2||52||Gordon Shedden||Honda Racing Team||+2.182|
|3||7||Mat Jackson||Airwaves Racing||+2.588|
|4||14||James Nash||888 with Collins Contractors||+3.001|
|5||29||Paul O'Neill||GoMobileUK.com with Tech-Speed||+4.232|
|6||77||Andrew Jordan||Pirtek Racing||+5.859|
|7||2||Matt Neal||Honda Racing Team||+6.286|
|8||5||Tom Chilton||Team Aon||+9.868|
|10||17||Dave Newsham||Geoff Steel Racing||+16.019|
|11||34||Tony Gilham||888 with Collins Contractors||+16.526|
|12||44||Andy Neate||Team Aon||+17.468|
|13||20||Alex MacDowall||Silverline Chevrolet||+22.893|
|15||28||John George||GoMobileUK.com with Tech-Speed||+31.259|
|16||55||Jeff Smith||Pirtek Racing||+31.395|
|17||78||Chris James||Team ES Racing||+1 Lap|
|18||66||Liam Griffin||Airwaves Racing||+1 Lap|
|19||50||Tony Hughes||Speedworks||+3 Laps|
|DNF||99||Tom Onslow-Cole||AmD Milltek Racing||1 Lap|
|DNF||22||Tom Boardman||Special Tuning Racing||0 Laps|
|DNS||12||Dave Pinkney||Rob Austin Racing|