Mat Jackson clinched victory in the final Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race of the 2016 season, but third place was enough for Gordon Shedden to successfully defend his Drivers’ Championship.
Starting from the final pole position of the season, Jackson made the perfect getaway and was unchallenged for a fifth win of the 2016 season, but third place was enough for Shedden to seal an emotional third BTCC crown from under the nose of Sam Tordoff.
A poor getaway for the reigning champion left him with plenty of work to do after slipping from fifth to seventh heading into the first corner, but the Scot quickly recovered two of those places in the following two bends from the Subarus of Colin Turkington and Jason Plato.
The two main title rivals were soon locked together on track when Shedden lunged inside the MG6 of Josh Cook at Druids corner on lap four, before a safety car lowered heartbeats after Warren Scott beached his Subaru Levorg in the Sheene gravel trap.
Shedden locked horns with his main rival immediately on the restart, the Honda Civic Type-R significantly quicker on lap seven before grabbing the crucial third place with a tighter line at Clearways.
Tordoff needed an answer instantly to grab the initiative back, but could not retaliate or snatch the critical extra point for fastest lap to deny Shedden in the remaining 10 laps.
A late spanner was thrown into the works however, when Dan Welch stranded his Proton Gen-2 in the same Sheene gravel bed that Scott visited to bring out one final safety car interruption.
The tension was made palpable by a late attack by Morgan’s Mercedes A-Class in the one-lap shootout that followed, but it was not to be enough for Tordoff.
Jackson cruised home for a fifth win of the year ahead of Aiden Moffat who earned his first podium of the season, but behind them it was Shedden who celebrated a third BTCC title with third place on the road to pip Tordoff by just two points.
Behind Morgan and Tordoff, Tom Ingram was next up ahead of Josh Cook, Jake Hill, Rob Collard and Plato who rounded out the top 10.
More to follow….