Gordon Shedden clinched a third Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship win of the season with a lights-to-flag performance in race one at Rockingham.
The reigning champion bolted from the front and was unchallenged on his way to a third race victory of the season, finishing 2.5s clear of the Motorbase Performance Ford Focus ST of Mat Jackson.
A frenetic opening lap saw Josh Cook slip to fifth behind the rapid-starting Subarus of Jason Plato and Colin Turkington, while the second Triple Eight MG6 of Ashley Sutton squeezed into sixth past Tom Ingram at Yentwood.
Behind, Alex Martin‘s Ford Focus headed for the grass before Mark Howard‘s stricken Team BKR Volkswagen CC brought out a safety car, Matt Simpson and Martin Depper suffering bonnet and front-right suspension damage respectively in skirmishes.
On the restart, Shedden was untroubled on his way to victory, while Jackson’s second place was hard fought for as Plato’s Subaru Levorg GT kept him honest throughout. Plato was unable to find a way through after 18 laps, his Silverline Subaru BMR Racing team-mate Turkington next up in fourth while Cook was a distant fifth ahead of team-mate Sutton.
Andrew Jordan charged from 14th on the grid to seventh, pulling decisive moves on Adam Morgan, Ingram and Aiden Moffat on the restart in a strong race for the Pirtek-backed Motorbase Ford Focus driver.
Matt Neal made his way up to eighth place in the second Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type-R, Dave Newsham next up for Power Maxed Racing while championship leader Sam Tordoff salvaged a fine result of 10th place, having started 27th on the grid with 75kgs success ballast.
The West Surrey Racing man’s team-mate Jack Goff climbed from 25th to 12th behind Moffat’s Mercedes A-Class, the latter slipping back late on with the harder Dunlop tyre compound. That tyre was also worn by Ingram’s Toyota Avensis which fell out of the points to 16th, Rob Collard‘s WSR BMW 125i finishing 14th overall.
Neal survived an early dice with Jake Hill‘s Team HARD Toyota Avensis, the latter one of the race’s retirements while Hunter Abbott‘s race was ruined by an off at Deene hairpin.