As the 2015 season enters its second half the series made its annual trip to Scotland and the Knockhill circuit, news in the championship on the run up to the event saw Welch Motorsport losing one of their licences meaning only one Proton will be seen for the remainder of the season.
Also missing from Scotland was Nicholas Hamilton who had already planned to miss this event but will be present for the championship run in. Hunter Abbot also missed the Sunday action despite qualifying ahead of Jason Plato on the Saturday as his wife went into labour early Sunday morning.
WSR BMW locked out the front row of the grid with Andy Priaulx in the IHG Rewards car on the pole ahead of Sam Tordoff in one of the JCT600 Gardex liveried machines, Mat Jackson showed that although they may be late to the party Motorbase are still a threat to the front of the grid, placing his Mountune engined Ford Focus ahead of the 3rd BMW of Rob Collard.
The Yuasa Honda squad were having a better day than had been experienced last time out at Snetterton with Gordon Shedden putting his Civic Type R 5th with Rob Austin’s Exocet Alcosense A4 Audi just ahead of Shedden’s Yuasa team mate Matt Neal. Andrew Jordan in the triple 8 Pirtek Racing MG6 was next ahead of Colin Turkington in the RICB Insurance BMR Racing VW CC at a circuit that the longer cars would struggle at but ahead of the pair of Ciceley Racing Mercedes A Classes, Adam Morgan’s Wix entry qualifying ahead of the returning Aiden Moffat following his Snetterton accident in the Laser Tools entry.
Race 1 produced the sort of action up and down the pack that is usually reserved for the third race of the day, with Collard beating Jackson into 2nd place with pole sitter Priaulx relegated to third at the flag, Jackson had led for most of the race before the soft tyres on the Focus faded and the BMWs came back at him after the safety car had reduced his lead to nothing.
Priaulx spent most of the second part of the race trying to pass Jackson but it was team mate Collard who once passed the triple world champion would make the move late on, Jackson proved that he had not forgotten how to race in the BTCC by continuing to keep the BMW behind him to take a well deserved second at the flag, and the fastest lap rewarding him with the pole position for race 2.
The third BMW of Tordoff would place 4th following a mammoth battle with Shedden, Neal and Rob Austin. Tordoff on the harder tyre fared better at the end and was able to leave the three soft shod machines battling behind in his mirror.
Andrew Jordan, Adam Morgan and Colin Turkington would complete the top ten in an eventful race.
Gordon Shedden would take a popular win in the day’s second race which again had as much action as we have seen in entire race weekends with plenty of points battles behind the leader, most notably that of Jackson, Collard, Austin and Jordan while Neal, Plato, Morgan and Moffat held their own dice.
Collard would follow up his race 1 victory with 2nd ahead of Jackson taking his second podium of the day ahead of Jordan, Priaulx and Rob Austin, the latter who had a big moment while well placed to take a podium with Jason Plato’s RICB VW salvaging something from a rotten weekend for the BMR squad ahead of Neal, Moffat and Morgan completed the top ten.
The result now places Shedden 2nd in the championship.
With a full top 10 reversal for race 3 we had a Mercedes 1-2 with Morgan starting ahead of Moffat and the rest for the day’s final round.
As expected the Mercedes led away with the championship challengers fighting behind in the midfield, following a short safety car period again to replace tyre stacks the race continued with Morgan leading Moffat and the rest before Neal took the youngster for second while behind, Plato, Austin and Priaulx battled for positions briefly with Tordoff before contact with Austin’s Audi sent the BMW driver into retirement.
At the front though, Morgan seemed to have everything under control until the final few laps. Neal, catching the Mercedes lucked in as Morgan picked up some debris on the front of his car, although only for the latter part of the lap it seemed enough to allow Neal to get into position and pass for the lead while behind, Priaulx was giving Moffat hassle as the pair touched once crossing the start finish line and, a second time a lap later which resulted in the BMW passing the teenager.
The stewards took exception to this move however and Priaulx was given a 3.5 second penalty dropping him to forth on the road behind Moffat – taking his first BTCC podium, Morgan and victor Neal, kick starting his championship challenge after a disappointing Snetterton for the Honda squad.
Austin would take 5th ahead of Plato who retains the championship lead but only just while Jordan, Shedden, Jackson and Martyn Depper in the Eurotech Honda completed the top ten.
Plato now has an 11 point lead over Gordon Shedden as the championship heads to Rockingham.
Who will be victorious is anyone’s guess!