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Mat Jackson victorious in second race

Mat Jackson won his and his Airwaves Racing team’s first British Touring Car Championship race in nearly two years as he kept his cool to beat Jason Plato into second and Rob Austin into third at Knockhill.

Jackson’s win – his 20th in the series – came as the championship battle took another intriguing twist, as Gordon Shedden dropped down the order after a collision with Austin at the start while Colin Turkington drove a near-perfect race as he recovered to fourth.

Matt Neal led the field as the race got underway, but Austin drew ahead of the Honda as they plunged into turn one, attempting to go around the three-time champion through Duffus. While he briefly took the lead, the Audi driver was forced to run onto the infield and Neal regained top spot, but as Shedden looked to have taken second, Jackson also attempted to pass Austin and contact between the trio forced Shedden around, as he dropped to 28th.

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The safety car was brought out immediately to cover the incident at McIntyre, where Warren Scott had also crashed, but with the BMR Restart driver and Shedden both able to get going again, the racing resumed on lap three with Neal leading from Jackson, Plato and Austin.

Honda man Neal looked as though he was moving slightly on the grid prior to the race start, and sure enough found himself with a drive-through penalty for a jump start, which he served at the end of the fourth lap which allowed Jackson into first, a position that he would not relinquish until the end of the race.

Indeed, the Airwaves Racing driver stretched his lead at the front as Plato kept a charging Austin at bay, the Audi driver once again coming on strong after he had the opportunity to get his tyres up to working temperature.

While the Hondas had gone backwards, Turkington was able to make sensational progress – he moved from his starting position of 27th to 20th on the first lap alone – and by lap nine he was into 11th place after two smart passes on Marc Hynes and Alain Menu.

Turkington’s teammate Rob Collard was also enjoying the second race, as he carved his way into the top ten after sliding through past Aron Smith and getting by Dave Newsham’s Ford Focus for sixth on lap 14, and the pair continued their progress until they reached Adam Morgan in fourth, when on lap 23 Collard allowed the championship leader past to ensure he took full advantage of Shedden’s misfortunes. The eBay Motors drivers both got past Morgan’s Mercedes on the straight the next time round, and held their respective fourth and fifth places to the line.

Ahead of them, the gaps between the front three remained the same until the line, with Jackson taking the chequered flag two seconds ahead of Plato’s MG, who just held off Austin. With Turkington, Collard and Morgan next up, equaled his season’s best finish with seventh place, and Dave Newsham kept up his fine form at his ‘home’ race with eighth, ahead of Jackson’s teammate Fabrizio Giovanardi.

Nick Foster in the third BMW will start the final race of the day from pole, after he selected his tenth-place finish for pole in the reverse-grid draw. Foster had been on course to finish in 11th, but Aron Smith moved over on him on the exit of the hairpin on the last lap and catapulted himself into the infield tyre barrier, allowing Foster to claim the final spot in the top ten.

Race Three gets underway at 17:07 BST.

Top ten result

1 6 I Mat JACKSON Airwaves Racing Ford Focus ST 25 22:36.360 52.554 4
2 99 M Jason PLATO MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save MG6 25 1.637 52.814 5
3 101 I Rob AUSTIN Exocet Racing Audi A4 25 2.362 52.713 2
4 5 I Colin TURKINGTON eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport 25 3.669 52.094 27
5 10 I Rob COLLARD eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport 25 5.193 52.494 12
6 33 I Adam MORGAN WIX Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class 25 6.777 52.634 6
7 80 I Tom INGRAM Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis 25 11.206 52.492 7
8 17 I Dave NEWSHAM AmD Ford Focus ST 25 12.911 53.162 9
9 7 I Fabrizio GIOVANARDI Airwaves Racing Ford Focus ST 25 14.912 52.518 13
10 18 I Nick FOSTER eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport 25 14.914 52.475 10

Complete race results

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