Mat Jackson won the final British Touring Car Championship race of the day at Silverstone ahead of Team BMR Restart’s Arón Smith and Colin Turkington.
The Airwaves Racing driver made a decisive move past his teammate Fabrizio Giovanardi before a Safety Car was deployed to score his second victory of the season and the fifth of his career at Silverstone.
The start of the race was delayed when Sam Tordoff’s MG coughed out a plume of smoke as the cars headed for their formation lap, leaving a sheen of oil on the circuit, which had to be cleared before the cars were allowed to race. The delay meant that the field were forced to start a second formation lap, while the race distance was reduced to 21 laps.
When the racing did get going, Jackson took full advantage of the now vacant grid slot in front of him to jump in front of Smith in his Volkswagen, while Turkington also advanced into fourth place.
The race had been delayed by some 20 minutes but not a lap had passed before the Safety Car was called out. Hunter Abbott appeared to tap Robb Holland at Becketts, and while most of the remaining field were able to pass the incident, James Cole was unable to avoid Holland’s S3 and ploughed into the back of him, with Martin Depper also hitting the pair.
Holland ran straight over to Cole to remonstrate with him once he was out of the car, the American clearly disappointed to end his season with a first lap retirement.
However, with cars able to race to the line, Jackson attempted to overtake his teammate and was classified as the first-place man at the end of the first lap, before tucking in behind Giovanardi into Copse, where they joined the Safety Car.
The decision was then taken to reverse the positions, given that Jackson had raced to the line, and as such he inherited the lead a lap before the Safety Car returned to the pits.
And the Motorbase driver took full advantage of the clear track in front on him when the race restarted on lap six, leaving Giovanardi and the rest of the field for dust. Turkington had a similarly electric start, passing Smith before the start/finish line, before rightfully relinquishing the position on the run down to Copse.
With Jackson pulling away at the front, Smith saw it as imperative to pass Giovanardi, and duly passed the Italian on lap seven into Becketts. Turkington was then the next man to come against Giovanardi, but perhaps with the title on his mind, found it much harder to pass than Smith had.
With Jackson in a league of his own at the front, Giovanardi did, to his credit, keep Smith in his sights and put up a valiant fight against Turkington, before a lap-and-a-half of sensational racing saw him plummet down the order.
At the end of lap 18, Turkington found himself on the inside of Giovanardi going into Brooklands, and despite the gap diminishing rapidly, kept his foot in to seemingly claim third. Giovanardi was having none of it though, and fought back through Luffield, forcing Turkington wide at Woodcote.
Their squabbling allowed Menu to dive up the inside of the pair of them through Copse, as they started their 19th laps, but he ran wide on the exit and the pair re-passed him on the run down to Maggotts. Turkington again appeared to have a move done on Giovanardi, only for Plato to arrive behind him and push him into the side of the Italian, forcing him down to 11th, where he eventually finished the race.
Turkington moved into third as a result, with Plato fourth and Menu fifth. That was ultimately the end of the action, with Jackson cantering to victory and Smith equally comfortable in second. While Turkington did claim a third podium of the day, Plato’s performance across the weekend means that the title fight does go to the final round of the season, at Brands Hatch in two weeks’ time.
Andrew Jordan brought his Pirtek Racing Honda Civic in a solid sixth, ahead of ahead of Adam Morgan, Gordon Shedden, Warren Scott – who scored a second-consecutive top-ten finish – and Jack Goff, who completed the top ten.
Top ten result
|1||6||I||Mat JACKSON||Airwaves Racing||Ford Focus ST||24||26:31.087||59.228||4|
|2||40||I||Árón SMITH||CHROME Edition Restart Racing||Volkswagen CC||24||2.753||59.306||3|
|3||5||I||Colin TURKINGTON||eBay Motors||BMW 125i M Sport||24||5.257||59.394||6|
|4||99||M||Jason PLATO||MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save||MG6||24||5.972||59.409||7|
|5||9||I||Alain MENU||CHROME Edition Restart Racing||Volkswagen CC||24||6.303||59.458||5|
|6||1||I||Andrew JORDAN||Pirtek Racing||Honda Civic||24||6.926||59.521||8|
|7||33||I||Adam MORGAN||WIX Racing||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||24||7.245||59.081||15|
|8||52||M||Gordon SHEDDEN||Honda Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Tourer||24||8.121||59.164||11|
|9||39||I||Warren SCOTT||CHROME Edition Restart Racing||Volkswagen CC||24||8.384||59.255||9|
|10||31||I||Jack GOFF||CHROME Edition Restart Racing||Volkswagen CC||24||8.839||59.254||14|