Ford wins BTCC finale as rivals clash

Motorsport
Ford wins BTCC finale as rivals clash

Matt Jackson’s Ford took the final British Touring Car race of the day at Knockhill as his two closest rivals collided and eliminated themselves.

Promoted to pole position for race three at the Scottish circuit, Jackson’s Motorbase Focus duly led away, with Rob Collard’s Team IHG Rewards BMW 125i, the Silverline Subaru BMR Racing Levorg GT of Colin Turkington, the second BMW of series leader Sam Tordoff and race one winner Jason Plato’s Subaru leading the pursuit.

An immediate safety car period, caused by Ashley Sutton’s MG6 spinning off, closed the field up but Jackson was able to hold them behind on the restart. Turkington, meanwhile, tapped the rear of Collard’s BMW at the hairpin but remained third.

Half a lap later the two clashed more heavily at Clark, the Subaru diving inside the BMW, the pair hitting each other as Collard was pitched sideways, colliding with the Subaru again and both cars spinning out of contention.

“It was a crazy move that simply wasn’t on,” said Collard after retiring in the pits, while Turkington felt the BMW driver should have given him more room; “It was the second time I had got inside him,” he said.

Collard claimed Turkington's move was not on but the Irishman said the BMW driver should have left him more room. Photo: PSP Images

Collard claimed Turkington’s move was not on but the Irishman said the BMW driver should have left him more room. Photo: PSP Images

The crash effectively ended the race for both cars and severely damaged both drivers' title hopes. Photo: PSP Images

The crash effectively ended the race for both cars and severely damaged both drivers’ title hopes. Photo: PSP Images

Tordoff was left in second place, and set about closing the gap to the leader, chased by Plato and the Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type-R of Gordon Shedden, who had been let past by team-mate and race two winner Matt Neal due to the Scotsman’s more competitive soft tyre setup.

The top four circulated together for the remainder of the race, Tordoff drawing alongside Jackson’s Focus several times without being able to make his move stick. Shedden, meanwhile was able to close up to Plato’s Subaru into corners, only to sacrifice straight-line speed to the Levorg.

Jackson duly took the win, 0.236 sec ahead of Tordoff, with Plato 0.568 further back and Shedden 0.493 behind the Subaru.

Fifth spot fell to Neal, who was able to close on the leading quartet towards the end, taking with him the Toyota Avensis of Rob Austin, who enjoyed one of his most competitive weekends for some time.

All of which left Collard, championship leader coming into the Knockhill meeting, at the end of the day back in third place 32 points down on team-mate Tordoff. He heads to the next round at Rockingham, Northants on 28th August on 231 points, with Neal splitting the BMWs on 222 points ahead of Collard’s 199 and Shedden’s 191. Matt Jackson’s win, meanwhile, promotes him to fifth spot on 188 points, the Subarus of Turkington and Plato next on 183 and 178 respectively.

A clash in race 3 ended a disastrous weekend for BMW drive rRob Collard's title hopes. Photo: PSP Images

A clash in race 3 ended a disastrous weekend for BMW driver Rob Collard’s title hopes. Photo: PSP Images

Andrew Charman

Andrew is the News and Road Test Editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.

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