British Touring Car Championship
Donington Park - Race 1 Report - 17/4/16
MG Racing RCIB Insurance were the dominant force at Donington Park yesterday. Josh Cook topped the time sheets in both the free practice sessions while team-mate Ashley Sutton took pole position ahead of Cook for the first of today's three Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races. Mat Jackson qualified his Motorbase Performance Ford Focus on the second row of the grid alongside Gordon Shedden's Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R with Tom Ingram and Rob Collard on row three.
With yesterday's weather a distant memory, it was a bright and sunny morning that greeted the teams and fans at the fabulous Leicestershire circuit as the BTCC action commenced. Mat Jackson got an excellent start, passing the two MG6GTs of pole-sitter Ashley Sutton and Josh Cook to lead into the first corner. Ashley Sutton fared less well, losing several places but recovering to 3rd place behind Jackson and Cook.
The Safety Car was deployed following Warren Scott beaching his Silverline Subaru BMR Racing Levorg GT in the gravel trap at the first corner. He managed to get it going again with the assistance of the race marshals but was nearly a lap down on the rest of the field.
There was little change at the front of the field until lap 11 when Ashley Sutton dropped from 3rd to 6th place, promoting Rob Collard in the Team JCT600 with GardX BMW 125i M Sport and Jack Goff in the Team IHG Rewards Club BMW 125i M Sport to 4th and 5th respectively. Goff passed West Surrey Racing team-mate Collard on lap 13 before Sutton also passed Collard to take 5th place.
The Safety Car was brought out again with just a few laps remaining when Matt Simpson and Dan Welch made heavy contact at Coppice, leaving both cars in a dangerous position. In a separate incident, James Cole's Silverline Subaru BMR Racing Levorg GT caught fire, causing the race to be immediately red-flagged as marshals dealt with the blaze. Cole was un-harmed however his car suffered substantial front-end damage.
With the race results declared, victory went to Mat Jackson in the Motorbase Performance Ford Focus with MG Racing RCIB Insurance's Josh Cook taking 2nd place ahead of Tom Ingram in 3rd for Speedworks Motorsport. Jack Goff finished 4th with Ashley Sutton 5th, and Rob Collard 6th. Jeff Smith, Aron Smith, Sam Tordoff and Colin Turkington rounded out the top ten. Jackson's victory means that four different drivers have won the first four races of the season, a sure sign that 2016 is going to be a classic year for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
Published 17 April 2016