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Mat Jackson takes win and points lead

Airwaves Racing’s Mat Jackson has moved into the lead of the British Touring Car Championship following another win in the third race of the day. Jackson took the lead from poleman Dave Newsham on the second lap of the Snetterton 300 circuit and was able to build enough of a lead to ensure the win. Paul O’Neill took a strong second position, with the works Chevrolet of Jason Plato completing the podium.

Click here for the full Round 18 Results.

Newsham was forced to drive extremely defensively throughout the race and on the second lap he made a slight mistake – just enough to allow Jackson through. As Newsham continued to drive defensively he allowed Jackson to escape  – meaning that when O’Neill eventually passed the Special Tuning driver on lap 6 it would be too difficult to catch Jackson, especially with his tyres no longer being at their best.

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Plato had to wait until the end of the race on lap 11 to make his move past Newsham. At Nelson Newsham ran wide, handing the position to the reigning champion.

A superb drive through the field from Matt Neal gave him vital championship points as he took fourth. Neal had started down in 17th due to his race two troubles and performed some masterly overtaking moves during the race. On the penultimate lap Neal was able to pass the second works Chevrolet of Alex MacDowall, who finished fifth and had his strongest weekend in the BTCC so far.

James Nash finished in sixth to continue his incredible run of consistency.

Gordon Shedden, who briefly led the championship going into this race, took seventh after a mixed race. The Scot performed a clever move on lap 10 when, faced with a black and orange flag calling him into the pits to remove damaged bodywork, he instead drove at a soft barrier and removed the offending bodywork, saving him points and costing him only one position to Nash.

Newsham had a torrid time in the last couple of laps. Going into the final lap he was fourth and defending hard, but with his tyres worn out he was demoted to eighth by the end of the lap.

Scoring his first points of the weekend was Nick Foster in ninth. Scoring his first-ever top ten finish was Rob Austin in tenth – although the Audi racer did bag a bonus point for the fastest lap in the previous race.

The race saw retirements for four drivers – Liam Griffin hit the barriers on the inside of Riches on the opening lap and couldn’t continue. Andy Neate stopped a lap later with steering problems that had blighted him in race two as well.

Several drivers failed to start the final race, including Frank Wrathall whose team were unable to repair his car’s damage radiator in time. Tom Boardman once again did not make the start due to terminal engine problems.

Full story coming soon.

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