Andrew Jordan recovered a weekend that saw him start with a penalty in fine style by winning the third and final race of the weekend at Knockhill, keeping the championship fight gripping heading to Rockingham.
The Pirtek Racing driver – who started the day ninth on the grid in race one – made the perfect getaway from the reverse-grid pole position in race three to lead a lights-to-flag performance on his way to a fourth win of the 2013 season.
The reigning Independent champion was comfortable in claiming his triumph, surviving a safety car period in the first half of the race to remove Warren Scott‘s Team HARD Volkswagen Passat from the side of the road exiting Clark as he romped to a win of 3.9s.
The battle behind him was where most of the intrigue arose, Rob Collard leaping ahead of front row starter Matt Neal into turn one with a traditional lightning BMW start, his team-mate Colin Turkington also making up a place on the other Honda of Gordon Shedden for fifth.
The winner of the opening pair of races then dispatched the Audi of WIX Racing‘s Rob Austin – having his best BTCC weekend to date by far – into the hairpin shortly afterwards, the Irishman having the chance to challenge for a third hat-trick in BTCC history when the race was neutralised for Scott’s Volkswagen’s removal.
Turkington was most keen to get going on the restart as he began bumping Neal around the final hairpin, whereupon the biggest drama occurred when Shedden’s hard work over the day in Fife was ruined by a fire in his Civic that forced him to retire.
Jordan pulled clear at the front leaving Collard, Neal and Turkington to squabble over second place. Neal eventually came out on top thanks to a great move up the inside of the BMW of Collard into Clark Curve in the closing laps, the pair rubbing panels before Neal eased away.
As Jordan dominated, Neal led home Collard and Turkington in a super weekend for the latter, Neal heading to Rockingham still leading the championship by just six points from Jordan and 17 from Turkington, Shedden now falling to 27 adrift.
Austin came home fifth ahead of Jason Plato on a tame weekend for MG KX Momentum Racing at Knockhill that sees Plato now 55 points behind Neal, Dan Welch finishing a brilliant seventh ahead of Mat Jackson, Nick Foster and a charging Adam Morgan who fought from the back to the top 10.
The Jack Sears Trophy honours this time saw Lea Wood go into double figures with a 10th win of the season, Liam Griffin being denied a treble victory by a push from Kieran Gallagher late in the race.
In a race of attrition that saw nine retirements, Frank Wrathall spun out heading down the first bend into the gravel, while Aron Smith and Mike Bushell came together after the Motorbase Ford tagged the Club 44 Chevrolet into Scotsman corner, Smith spearing into the gravel.
Sam Tordoff‘s MG didn’t even make it to the start, likewise Aiden Moffat in a tricky weekend for the 16-year-old marred by car problems.
The series next heads to Rockingham for rounds 22, 23 and 24 of the championship on September 14/15.