Ollie Jackson won a Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship race for the first time in his career in the final event of the day at Silverstone.
The Motorbase Ford Focus driver held off near race long pressure from Tom Oliphant and maintained his composure after the initial race was red flagged after a massive shunt for Jackson’s team-mate Rory Butcher.
At the original start, Jackson made a brilliant getaway from the front row and outbraked pole sitter Oliphant into the first corner, Copse, which put him into the lead of the race.
Further back, Tom Ingram was speared off at Luffield as he tried to pass Tom Onslow-Cole and Carl Boardley in one manoeuvre. Unfortunately for the Toyota man three into one wouldn’t go and he ended up being fired into the barriers. Andy Neate was another driver to come to grief on the opening lap as a collision with Jade Edwards put him in the wall at Woodcote.
By lap six, Butcher was up to eighth having started 14th and tried to pass Matt Neal at Becketts. However, the pair made contact pitching Butcher across the grass and into the barriers at high speed. The impact was so severe that it rolled the Ford Focus and it landed back in the middle of the circuit, though fortunately the rest of the field managed to avoid ploughing into him. This brought out the red flag and there was a delay whilst the car was retrieved and the barrier was repaired. Thankfully Butcher was unharmed in the accident.
The new race distance was 12 laps and the drivers started in the positions they’d occupied when the red flag was shown.
This put Jackson on pole and Oliphant second, whilst Ash Sutton, who had started the original race at the back, was promoted to 15th.
As the lights went out for a second time, Jackson made a good start to lead the pack into Copse whilst Adam Morgan moved into third behind Oliphant but Jake Hill found himself shuffled down to sixth on a frenetic opening lap.
On lap two, Oliphant tried to dive down the inside of Jackson for the lead at Brooklands but the Motorbase man was having none of it and closed the door. The pair made contact and drifted wide, somehow managing to stay on the circuit. This allowed the chasing pack to close up on them.
In that chasing pack, Sutton was on a charge, dispatching title rival Colin Turkington to sit eighth by lap three.
By lap five, there was a five way train for the lead with Jackson leading Oliphant, Josh Cook who had moved into third, Morgan and Dan Cammish. Behind them, Sutton scythed past Chilton to move into sixth and set about catching the lead battle.
On lap seven, Oliphant dived into the lead at Copse but Jackson instantly responded and reclaimed the lead. Behind them, Sutton streamed past Cook and Morgan to move into third.
For the final four laps Sutton piled the pressure on Oliphant which on the final lap allowed Jackson to make a slight break away from them. Sutton made his move at Becketts with a mighty lunge on the brakes to relieve Oliphant of second.
This left Jackson to take the flag relatively comfortably for his first BTCC win. Sutton crossed the line second ahead of Oliphant but the places were later reversed as Sutton was deemed to have gained an unfair advantage when passing the BMW driver.
Cammish was fourth in his ballast laden Honda, ahead of Morgan and Senna Proctor who picked up some late places in the Hyundai.
Cook was shuffled back to seventh at the flag, ahead of Aiden Moffat, Tom Chilton and Colin Turkington who rounded out the top ten.
Sutton leads Turkington in the championship by just four points with nine races remaining.
The series resumes in a fortnight at Croft in Darlington for rounds 19, 20 & 21.