Mat Jackson has taken victory in a very wet first British Touring Car Championship race of the day at Thruxton – after the race was red-flagged due to Liam Griffin suffering a big accident.
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Jackson led the entire race from the first corner – inheriting the lead when front-row men Andrew Jordan and Jason Plato lost control at the first corner. Jordan hit standing water on the inside of the corner and speared into the inside barriers, whilst Plato ran wide onto the grass on the outside, gifting Jackson the lead. The Pirtek driver was out on the spot, whilst Plato dropped several positions.
In the tricky conditions, Jackson was able to open up a 3.8 second lead at one stage and was never challenged for the win. Dave Newsham took second after coming through the first corner unscathed, whilst Plato was able to recover to third, having dropped to fifth at the end of the opening lap.
Rob Collard finished fourth, having lost out on a podium finish to Plato on lap seven. Frank Wrathall, who started third and had been in contention for a podium finish, eventually finished fifth after being unable to resist the charges of Collard and Plato.
Gordon Shedden had one of the most eventful drives of the race, and the Scot finished in sixth having started in 18th. Despite an incident with Rob Austin and Andy Neate on the opening lap, the Honda driver fought his way through the field and set the fastest lap in the process.
Árón Smith scored his best-ever BTCC result in seventh, ahead of Tom Onslow-Cole in eighth, Lea Wood in ninth and Matt Neal in tenth.
The extremely wet conditions caught out several drivers, including Plato and Jordan, with Speedworks Motorsport drivers Adam Morgan and Tony Hughes both making off-track excursions during the race.
Liam Griffin was the driver who had the bigest incident, however, leading to the eventual stoppage of the race. The Redstone Racing driver aquaplaned off the circuit on the tenth lap into the barriers at the first turn, causing extensive frontal damage to his car. As his car was recovered by marshals the recovery truck got stuck in the wet grass and the decision was taken to stop the race.
Daniel Welch did not make it to the starting grid, stopping on the green flag lap. Rob Austin managed to complete two ‘testing’ laps in the race, having faced a race against time to repair his Audi A4 following his crash in qualifying.