The BTCC arrived in Hampshire and, for once bought the good weather with it, giving the thousands in attendance something else to smile about. 30 cars would start the 1st race of the day Robb Holland’s Audi S3 unable to be readied for the event after his huge Donington smash, James Cole however, the other party in the incident would be at the round following a great stint from his United Autosport team – with a little help from Speedworks!
Qualifying would see Andrew Jordan take the pole and break the lap record in the process posting a time of 1:16.192 an average speed of over 111mph.
Matt Neal would join the champion on the first row with Yuasa Honda Civic, team mate Gordon Shedden heading up row three from the Airwaves Ford Focus of Matt Jackson making a welcome return to the sharp end of the action.
A massive lap from reigning Ginetta champion Tom Ingram saw the Speedworks Toyota Avensis take a brilliant 5th ahead of the MGs of Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff, Rob Collard starting as the highest place BMW and rear drive car in 8th with Alain Menu’s VW and Adam Morgan’s Mercedes rounding out the top 10.
Due to the nature of the Thruxton circuit each race will be contested on the same compound of Dunlop tyre.
Lights out we are racing.
Lap 1 Great start by Jackson who passes both the works Hondas to go second behind Jordan. Fantastic start for Collard who goes from 8th to 5th.
Lap 2 Tordoff passes Ingram at the complex, yellow flags waving at the chicane as Chris Stockton retires his Chevrolet Cruze.
Lap 4 Neal and Shedden gain on the Focus of Jackson, Jordan appears to be pulling away from the battle for second. Further back Dave Newsham in his AMD Ford Focus is making up ground as he passes both Jack Goff’s Vauxhall Insignia and Nick Foster’s BMW.
Lap 5 Bad couple of corners for Sam Tordoff as Adam Morgan gets past at Allard while Colin Turkington does the same at Cobb.
Lap 6 Neal is all over the back of the Airwaves Focus, Jackson defending hard though the complex. Tordoff, Ingram and Menu are all under investigation following their start procedure.
Lap 7 Adam Morgan has caught up with the 5th place battle between Collard, Plato and Menu, with Colin Turkington’s BMW not far behind the action, a little further back Jack Goff passes the dropping Tom Ingram for 13th place!
Lap 8 Half distance and Jackson has been mugged at the complex by both the works Hondas of Neal and Shedden, Honda 1,2,3 now.
Lap 9 Turkington is past Morgan and into 8th just behind Menu.
Lap 10 Newsham’s Ford is now on the back of the similar car of Fabrizio Giovanardi the pair going side by side through the complex and both cars slowly catching the epic 5th place battle led by Collard.
Lap 12 Collard seems to be holding the field up as the battling Newsham and Giovanardi join the back of the train followed by Goff’s Insignia.
Lap 14 Newsham and Giovanardi are still fighting over 10 and 11th small contact though the complex but nothing major.
Lap 15 Collard coming under increased pressure now form Plato as the train behind gets even longer.
Final lap: No further dramas to report and Andrew Jordan takes the flag to record his 3rd win of the season and first at Thruxton, Neal and Shedden would join him on the podium ahead of Jackson – who would later inform us that he was racing with a slow puncture, Collard Plato and the rest.
Lap 1 Shedden gets a good start and attempts a pass on Jordan for the lead, Collard again gets a good one and manages to slip into 2nd once the pack settle down. Jordan, Collard, Shedden, Jackson, Neal the top 5, Chris Stockton again retires the Cruze early on.
Lap 3 Well nothing was to come of the race 1 investigation but Alain Menu receives a drive through penalty for starting out of position. Shedden passes the BMW for second at the chicane.
Lap 4 Menu takes his penalty Turkington takes Plato for 6th.
Lap 5 Turkington is now catching the Collard, Jackson, Neal battle ahead while Shedden starts to reel in the leader Jordan. Collision between Warren Scott and Dan Welch at the chicane.
Lap 6 Fantastic driving as Goff passes Sam Tordoff AND Fabrizio Giovanardi for 9th place.
Lap 8 Neal, battling with Jackson for the last few laps finally makes the pass at Noble having run side by side for several corners. Turkington now looms large in Jackson’s Mirror.
Lap 9 Shedden looking like he’s getting ready to make a move for the lead.
Lap 10 Jack Goff has caught the Morgan / Plato battle.
Lap 11 Shedden leads, Jordan gets a little sideways coming up Woodham Hill and Shedden completes the pass at the chicane, while that was going on Newsham goes off, this time he re joins though, terrible luck for Scot this weekend.
Lap 12 Jordan having a go back at Shedden the champion not giving up as he chases his second win of the day, Shedden keeps his cool though.
Lap 14 Huge accident at Church! Rob Austin’s Audi comes together with the BMW of Nick Foster lauching the latter over the tyre barrier and into the trees. Red Flag shown as the medics race to the scene of the accident.
The result will be declaired with Shedden the winner from Jordan, Collard, Neal, Jackson, Turkington, Plato, Morgan, Goff and Giovanardi, who would go on to pick his number #10 for the reverse grid of race three and start from the pole position.
Following his contact with Welch, Warren Scott was forced to start from the back of the field for race three, Rob Austin was disqualified and, as with Scott sent to the back of the field, Austin was contesting the decision and would stat the race from where he expected.
Lap 1 Turkington in the light rear drive BMW gets a fantastic start and jumps to 2nd from 5th on the grid, contact at the complex sees Morgan’s Mercedes getting a bit wayward, colliding with Plato as he straightens up, The Mercedes continues at racing speed, the MG less so as Plato limps back to the pits, Collard was the benefactor of the incident moving up to 4th on the track. Turkington leads Giovanardi and Goff.
Lap 2 Collard all over Goff, at the back James Cole’s Toyota is off, he will re join but well down.
Lap 3 Goff chasing down Giovanardi for second place while behind them Jackson takes Collard for 4th.
Lap 5 Safety car is out for the first time in the BTCC today. Ollie Jackson’s Proton is off at church with heavy front damage, Jackson is out of the car but looks to be in discomfort. On the race track Mat Jackson has passed Goff seemingly under yellow flags, the order is Turkington, Giovanardi, Jackson, Goff, Collard, Jordan, Shedden, Neal, Morgan with Tordoff rounding off the top 10.
More bad news for Welch Motorsport as Dan Welch pits with possible problems in his Proton, he re joins but right at the back of the field.
Lap 8 The safety car is getting ready to pull in, we will be racing for another 11 laps meaning this is now a 19 lap race.
Lap 9 No change up front but just behind Jordan and Collard both hard on the brakes, as they go through the complex side by side, Shedden attempts an opportunist move as the pair ahead battle but ends up getting past by team mate Neal.
Lap 10 Jordan having another go at Collard but again the BMW man resists, another train is forming behind the 1 series.
Safety car again: Huge accident again at Church Simon Belcher’s Toyota goes across the grass and gets launched off the remains of the tyre barrier following the offs from Foster and Ollie Jackson, TV pictures show the car disappearing into the trees, thankfully Belchers is out of the car quickly and giving the thumbs up to the cameras for the worlds media to see.
Lap 13 Safety car getting ready to come in again, this will now become a 6 lap sprint to the finish.
Lap 14 Racing again, everyone cleanly away Turkington immediately starts to pull away from Giovanardi, the Collard, Jordan, Neal battle looks set to restart.
Lap 15 Jordan passes Collard at the Chicane, Neal tries to follow but like Shedden one safety car period earlier he only succeeds in being past by his team mate.
Lap 16 Shedden is alongside the BMW as they race up to the chicane, contact, Collard is pushed wide and takes the escape road around the chicane, keeping his position as he goes, just ahead Jackson is now ahead of Giovanardi, Goff tries to make a similar move at the complex but ends up loosing out to both Jordan and Shedden, Collard is also shuffled back during this melee!
Lap 18 Neal now all over Collard through the complex, contact! Neal and Collard both have to take to the grass and cut the corners joining down the order, these two have previous here as well!
Final Lap No more dramas as Turkington takes a second win of 2014 from the Fords of Jackson and Giovanardi, Jordan, Shedden, Goff, Aron Smith, Morgan, Tordoff and Rob Collard who would end up 10th.
Shedden would be relegated to 6th as a result of a yellow flag incident however Jackson escaped penalty. Rob Austin lost his Race 2 appeal and was excluded from the race two result.
This sees Jordan still heading the championship with 141 points with Shedden second with 133 ten ahead of Turkington who is a further 13 ahead of Neal. Jason Plato is the only other driver to break 3 figures on 106 as the series takes a short break before Oulton park on the 7th and 8th of June. and if its half as good as this weekend was it’ll be fantastic.