Colin Turkington claimed his second win of the day to set up a thrilling Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship finale at Brands Hatch GP circuit, with four drivers mathematically still in the running.
Turkington repeated his lights-to-flag feat of race one thanks to a sublime start, defying the penalty of 75kg success ballast in his Silverline Subaru Team BMR Levorg to move within 10 points of the championship lead.
The race saw a dramatic accident for one of the Northern Irishman’s fellow championship contenders, Matt Neal spinning hard into the barriers exiting Druids after contact with Ashley Sutton‘s MG6 GT as his Honda Civic Type-R appeared to lose pace.
Neal emerged from the lap four crash shaken, but unscathed, the safety car emerging to allow time for the stricken Honda to be removed.
Gordon Shedden was the man on the move on the restart, lunging immediately inside Josh Cook‘s MG for fourth place at Paddock Hill Bend to join the battle for second between front row starter Rob Austin and the fast-starting second Subaru Levorg of Jason Plato.
Plato’s pressure told on lap eight as he dived inside Austin’s Toyota Avensis at Surtees, Shedden pouncing on the Handy Motorsport man for third place on the following straight to move within a point of the championship lead.
Three places behind his main title rival, series leader Sam Tordoff began hounding Cook’s MG for fifth spot a lap later, but it was the fight for the lead that became the talking point quite swiftly.
Plato closed up to the rear of his team-mate at a rapid rate, briefly attempting a lunge for the lead at Paddock Hill Bend before opting out of the attack. The former soon settled for second spot to complete a Subaru one-two, but not without a defensive display on lap 14 as Shedden closed in.
Turkington claimed a fifth win of the season ahead of Plato and Shedden, the latter just two points adrift now of Tordoff with one race to go after Austin’s late demise promoted Cook to fourth and Tordoff to fifth.
Aiden Moffat was a solid sixth ahead of Mat Jackson, who fell out of the title hunt with seventh ahead of Adam Morgan (Mercedes), Tom Ingram (Toyota) and Rob Collard rounding out the top 10.
Collard also fell out of the championship picture along with Andrew Jordan who recovered to 13th place from the rear of the field, leaving Tordoff, Shedden and Turkington and Neal the four remaining contenders in the title fight.
Jackson sits 15 points behind Motorbase Performance team-mate Jordan in the Independents’ Championship, while Sutton’s retirement means Michael Epps remains in the fight for the Jack Sears Trophy should he win the final race and Sutton retire.