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Rob Collard wins opening Knockhill race

Rob Collard won an enthralling first British Touring Car Championship race at Knockhill, ahead of the Motorbase Ford of Mat Jackson and polesitter Andy Priaulx.

Having overtaken team-mate Priaulx a lap earlier, Collard passed Jackson on the straight on lap 21 and pulled away in the final five laps to claim a third win of the season.

Priaulx made a fantastic start from pole as the race started, but was soon demoted to second as Jackson dived up his inside on the run to the hairpin to grab the lead, having passed Sam Tordoff on the run to Duffus Dip.

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Jackson duly raced away in the early stages and held a lead of 2.717s before the safety car was briefly deployed to clear debris on the track.

That barely seemed to have disturbed the Ford driver’s focus when the race restarted on lap eight, however, as Jackson quickly re-established a lead over Priaulx and Collard, who by this point had jumped Tordoff.

But by lap 14 Jackson was beginning to fall back into the clutches of the West Surrey Racing pair, with Gordon Shedden in fourth fending off Rob Austin.

Priaulx looked to have a run on Jackson coming onto lap 20 but was forced wide by the Motorbase driver, allowing Collard to dive up the inside of his team-mate to grab second.

A good drive off the hairpin at the end of the same lap then allowed Collard to grab the inside line on the run to Duffus before Jackson could cover it off, and he moved into the lead before easing away to secure a sixth win of the season for WSR.

Jackson fought valiantly in the closing stages to hold Priaulx off for second place and a first podium finish since his and Motorbase’s return to the championship. Jackson will also start the second race from pole after setting the fastest lap.

Tordoff had dropped as far back as seventh but after passing Matt Neal perfected a great double overtake on the outside of the hairpin to claim fourth, with Shedden settling for fifth after fighting off Austin for much of the race.

Austin dropped to seventh at the flag, having been overtaken by Neal on the final lap, but will start the second race from third, while Andrew Jordan, Adam Morgan and Colin Turkington rounded out the top ten.

Championship leader Jason Plato finished a lap down in 23rd after starting slowly from the rear of the field, but will start race two from ninth in his Volkswagen CC.

Points scoring result

1 6 C Rob COLLARD Team JCT600 with GardX BMW 125i M Sport 25 22:43.347 52.530 4
2 4 Mat JACKSON Motorbase Performance Ford Focus 25 1.72 52.424 3
3 111 C Andy PRIAULX Team IHG Rewards Club BMW 125i M Sport 25 1.891 52.677 1
4 7 C Sam TORDOFF Team JCT600 with GardX BMW 125i M Sport 25 2.734 52.565 2
5 52 M Gordon SHEDDEN Honda Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 25 7.82 52.429 5
6 25 M Matt NEAL Honda Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 25 7.925 52.740 7
7 101 Rob AUSTIN Exocet AlcoSense Audi A4 25 8.06 52.482 6
8 77 M Andrew JORDAN MG 888 Racing MG 6GT 25 11.128 52.549 8
9 33 Adam MORGAN WIX Racing Mercedes Benz A-Class 25 11.762 52.999 10
10 1 Colin TURKINGTON Team BMR Volkswagen CC 25 15.593 52.674 9
11 31 M Jack GOFF MG 888 Racing MG 6GT 25 15.772 53.043 13
12 55 Jeff SMITH Eurotech Racing Honda Civic 25 17.354 52.812 15
13 39 Warren SCOTT Team BMR Volkswagen CC 25 22.315 53.545 17
14 30 Martin DEPPER Eurotech Racing Honda Civic 25 27.282 53.035 20
15 21 Mike BUSHELL AmD Ford Focus 25 31.678 53.621 16

Complete race results

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