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Andrew Jordan claims victory in dramatic final race

Andrew Jordan grabbed a fourth victory of the 2014 British Touring Car Championship season in an incident-packed third race at Croft, with Rob Collard in second and Gordon Shedden third.

The Pirtek driver’s victory was made all the more significant by the fact that championship leader Colin Turkington failed to score, after retiring with clutch issues while in fifth.

The cars at the front of the grid all got similar starts, but the tone for the race was set almost immediately as the cars headed into Clervaux, where Tom Ingram managed to sneak ahead of Fabrizio Giovanardi into second, behind Jack Goff.

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Having held position off the line, Goff took a normal line on the exit of the corner but got a small tap from Ingram and was sent off onto the grass before rejoining. That left Ingram in the lead, but he last no longer at the front as he went off himself, handing first place to Giovanardi.

There was yet more drama though, as Jordan closed on the Airwaves driver at a rapid rate of knots, cruising into the back of the Italian before sending him off into the barrier, ripping the front end off his car.

Ingram’s Speedworks Toyota had given up the ghost by this point, and having been left in a dangerous area, the decision was taken to deploy the safety car – a decision made easier by the amount of debris on track.

That left Jordan in the lead as the dust settled, with Goff somehow recovering to second ahead of Collard in his BMW. Glynn Geddie was also forced to pit with a left-rear puncture, while Giovanardi continued despite quite evident superficial and aerodynamic damage to his car.

With the distance extended to 18 laps to make up for the safety car period, the race resumed with five laps on the board but there was chaos almost immediately again, when a lap later Matt Neal, Rob Austin and Warren Scott tried to go three-wide and ended up collecting each other in turn two, although the call for a second safety car was abated after Neal dug himself out of the gravel and recovered to the pitlane.

The next tour saw just as much drama as Shedden made his way past Adam Morgan for sixth, which became fifth when Turkington pulled into the pits to retire his car.

A brief period of calm took over for a couple of laps, but that was only until the group behind Jordan – who had pulled himself clear of any further trouble – bunched up. A push from Collard forced Goff wide and the West Surrey Racing driver moved into second while Mat Jackson followed him through.

Two laps later it was Shedden’s turn to make a pass, with Goff running wide after pressure from the Scotsman who pounced on the exit of Sunny Out. The Honda driver’s intentions then turned to Jackson in third, who himself began backing cars into one another.

Shedden made an ill-fated attempt to pass the Airwaves car on the exit of the hairpin, but with the outside line disappearing he suffered damage to the front end of his Civic, with debris flailing from its wheelarch. The 2012 champion relented however, stealing through into third on the penultimate lap. However the positions were later reversed and Shedden handed a four-second time penalty for the move.

Jordan eventually won the race by three-and-a-half seconds from Collard, with Shedden and Jackson next up. The battle for fifth was equally as intense as the rest of the action, however, as Morgan pipped Goff for the place by 0.001s on the line, ahead of Nick Foster and Alain Menu, who had a magnificent recovery run. Aron Smith had been set to challenge for fifth, but he was over-zealous on the final lap and ran into the gravel after clouting Morgan, being overtaken by Foster and his teammate.

Jason Plato completed the top ten, ahead of Martin Depper and Hunter Abbott.

Top ten result

1 1 I Andrew JORDAN Pirtek Racing Honda Civic 18 28:24.822 1:25.866 6
2 10 I Rob COLLARD eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport 18 3.492 1:25.844 7
3 6 I Mat JACKSON Airwaves Racing Ford Focus ST 18 18.517 1:26.070 5
4 52 M Gordon SHEDDEN Honda Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Tourer 18 18.940 1:25.735 8
5 33 I Adam MORGAN WIX Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class 18 19.179 1:25.815 10
6 31 I Jack GOFF RCIB Insurance Racing Vauxhall Insignia 18 19.18 1:25.991 1
7 18 I Nick FOSTER eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport 18 19.382 1:25.477 12
8 9 I Alain MENU CHROME Edition Restart Racing Volkswagen Passat CC 18 19.751 1:25.512 24
9 40 I Árón SMITH CHROME Edition Restart Racing Volkswagen Passat CC 18 20.397 1:25.306 13
10 99 M Jason PLATO MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save MG6 18 21.37 1:25.949 16

Complete race results

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