British Touring Car Championship
Thruxton - Race 3 Report - 8/5/16
With the reverse grid draw giving pole position to Goodestone Racing's Dan Welch, the drivers lined up on the grid for the final race of the day from Hampshire's Thruxton circuit. Joining Welch on the front row of the grid was Motorbase Performance's Mat Jackson with Daniel Lloyd and Sam Tordoff on row 2. Jack Goff started on row 3 alongside Gordon Shedden with Adam Morgan and Rob Collard on row 4. As in race 2, race 3 was restricted from 16 to 12 laps in view of the high track temperatures and extreme tyre wear caused by the fast nature of the circuit.
As the lights went out to start the race, Mat Jackson got a better start than Dan Welch and immediately took the lead. Further down the field Stewart Lines and Hunter Abbott spun out before the end on the first lap. Meanwhile, Welch found himself under attack from Jack Goff in the Team IHG Rewards Club BMW 125i M Sport who in turn was being put under pressure by defending BTCC Drivers' Champion Gordon Shedden in his Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R.
With Mat Jackson in the lead, the front-runners started to bunch up behind 2nd place driver Dan Welch's Proton Persona which allowed Gordon Shedden to intensify his attack on Jack Goff who dropped back from the leader while defending his position. This battle for 3rd place allowed Welch to recover some of the gap to Jackson. Welch's luck ran out on lap 5 when a mechanical failure caused him to leave the track, promoting Goff up to 2nd place and Shedden up to 3rd.
Gordon Shedden continued putting pressure on Jack Goff as, on lap 6, a puncture on Andrew Jordan's Motorbase Performance Ford Focus caused the former BTCC champions to spin off the track and retire from the race. By lap 8, Rob Collard was challenging Gordon Shedden for track position however Collard hit Shedden, causing them both to spin and lose places. At this stage, Matt Neal was up to 3rd place with Adam Morgan 4th before Jack Goff took the position only for Gordon Shedden to take 4th place on the next lap.
In the closing laps Jack Goff and Gordon Shedden collided at the chicane, causing them both to spin off the track. The race ended with a well-deserved victory for Mat Jackson with Matt Neal 2nd and Adam Morgan 3rd - his 3rd podium finish of the day. MG Racing RCIB Insurance drivers Josh Cook and Ashley Sutton finished 4th and 5th with Rob Collard completing the top 6. Rob Austin, Sam Tordoff, Daniel Lloyd and Michael Epps rounded out the top 10.
With 9 rounds completed, Matt Neal and Rob Collard head the Drivers' Championship standings on 101 points each with Neal technically leading by virtue of the number of podium positions attained. Adam Morgan is just 3 points adrift on 98 points. The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship now heads to the picturesque Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire on June 4th and 5th for the fourth meeting of the 2016 season.
Published 8 May 2016