Jackson’s Ford escapes Touring car carnage

Andrew Jackson, Ford Focus, BTCC Snetterton, 31 July 2016

The Ford Focus of Matt Jackson took victory in a carnage-strewn second British Touring Car Championship race at Snetterton.

Jackson’s Motorbase Focus made an excellent start from the outside of the front row, allowing him to round pole-sitter and race one winner Colin Turkington’s Silverline BMR Subaru at the newly-named Wilson hairpin.

However the Ford driver’s efforts were negated when the backmarker Audi of Ollie Jackson spun into the barrier on the Bentley straight, resulting in a multiple accident that stopped the race and caused day-ending damage for the Audi and two other cars.

On the restart, with the race distance reduced to 10 laps, The Focus repeated its move, Jackson again taking the lead out of the Wilson hairpin, but the race was effectively decided a lap later.  Turkington’s Subaru was run into by third-placed Gordon Shedden’s Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic, which in turn was hit by the Wix Racing Mercedes of Adam Morgan, all three going sideways but holding their position.

Two corners later, however, Morgan again hit Shedden, the Honda snapping sideways and ending up down in ninth as his team-mate Matt Neal took over fourth spot.

Jackson and Turkington were able to pull away from their chasers, but the fastest car on the circuit was the BMW of Rob Collard. The Team JCT600 car progressed from 16th to sixth in the first two laps and quickly disposed of fifth-placed Jason Plato’s Subaru.

Collard was past fourth-placed Morgan within a lap of Neal doing so, and then closed onto the tail of the Honda as the race entered its final laps. But Neal was determined not to give up the final podium spot and kept his foot in as the BMW dove inside, the two completing three corners side by side before Collard admitted defeat, not challenging the Honda again.

Thanks to an eighth-place finish Sam Tordoff’s BMW still leads the series on 185 points and Tordoff will be in a prime position to extend his advantage in the final race of the day, the reverse grid draw having put him on pole position.

Neal now holds second on 176 while Collard’s drive secured his third spot on 170, with Matt Jackson fourth on 163 and Turkington’s Subaru for the first time moving into contention in fifth spot with 144 points.

The final race of the day is due to start at 17.02.

Rob Collard's drive from 16th so nearly netted a podium for BMW. Photo: PSP Images

Rob Collard’s drive from 16th so nearly netted a podium for BMW. 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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