Mat Jackson mounted a race long defence to hold on for victory in the third MSA Dunlop British Touring Car Championship race of the day at Knockhill.
The Motorbase driver was chosen in the draw for pole position in the final race of the day with WSR’s Rob Collard on the front row with him and he duly led the BMW into the first corner with Subaru Team BMR’s Colin Turkington slotting into third place. As the field streamed through Duffus Dip for the first time, there was contact between the two Ford Focus’ of Stewart Lines and Alex Martin which led to Mark Howard taking avoiding action in his BKR VW Passat CC.
As Jackson continued on in the lead, there was contact further back in the field as Team HARD driver Michael Epps and MG driver Ash Sutton made contact in the Clark Curve which led to Sutton pulling off in with a broken left rear toe link and the Safety Car being deployed on the next lap. Jackson led Collard and Turkington as the action resumed on lap 7 with the former WSR driver trying everything possible to get past his former team-mate. On lap 8 Jeff Smith retired his Eurotech Honda after contact with Howard, however the field changed as there was contact between Collard and Turkington as Collard ran wide at the Clark Curve. Collard would retire to the pits as Turkington regained the circuit and would go on to finish in 24th place.
The Halfords Yuasa Honda duo of Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal swapped places on lap 9 as the Scot’s Honda was putting his soft tyres to good use and he set about catching the top three, which consisted of Jackson now leading Collard’s team-mate Sam Tordoff and Jason Plato in the second Subaru, whilst Plato’s team-mate Warren Scott also came off the track at Clark. On the following lap, Handy Motorsport’s Rob Austin made small contact with Jack Goff in the third WSR BMW which led to the BMW driver losing places to Austin, Adam Morgan in the WIX Racing Mercedes, Aiden Moffat in the Laser Tools Racing Mercedes and Andrew Jordan in the second Motorbase Ford.
The following laps saw a titanic struggle as Jackson held off challenge after challenge from Tordoff, Plato and Shedden who joined in the battle soon after passing Neal. Behind this quartet, Neal held off the challenge from Austin and Morgan as these three began to close on the leading four drivers. Lap 16 saw Hunter Abbott retire his Power Maxed Racing Chevrolet Cruze at Clark Curve and the resultant yellow flag at the corner stopped Tordoff trying to pass Jackson and this led to Shedden going side by Side with Plato heading to the hairpin with the Honda driver remaining in fourth place.
The Motorbase driver held on for the win 0.263 seconds ahead of Tordoff and Plato with Shedden ending the race in fourth place. Neal claimed fifth place ahead of Austin, who held off several challenges for Morgan for sixth place whilst Moffat took eighth place ahead of Jordan and Goff, who passed Tom Ingram in his Speedworks Toyota during the race to complete the top ten. Dave Newsham took 11th place in his final race of the weekend for Power Maxed Racing ahead of Ingram, James Cole in the fourth Subaru whilst Dan Welch salvaged 14th place in the points after a dramatic rebuild of his Proton since Snetterton with Jake Hill in the Team HARD Toyota completing the points places.
Mat Jackson was overjoyed with his race win as he celebrated in Parc Ferme:
“That was Mega! I was pretty determined that this win was going to be ours,” explained the Motorbase driver, who now becomes the first driver during the 2016 season to take four wins so far. “Fair play to Sam, he drove fair during the race. Whilst we had the legs in sector one, Sam had a a lot of grip to come back at us over the lap, but this was my win.”
In The Drivers Championship, Sam Tordoff remains in the lead on 231 points with Matt Neal 9 points behind and Rob Collard a further 32 points off the lead as the series moves to Rockingham Speedway in Corby on 27-28 August.