BTCC - Donington Park: Again three different winners in three races
Mat Jackson, Rob Collard and Matt Neal are the winners of three BTCC races today at Donington Park, which were the part of the second round of the 2016 British Touring Car Championship. Jackson’s Ford Focus ST was victorious in the first race, then he lost the win from Rob Collard’s BMW and finally, in the third race, Matt Neal earned a victory for Honda. For the second race in a row, after season-opening round at Brands Hatch, we have three different winners in three races, which makes it six different winners in six races.
Pole for Sutton, victory for Jackson
The rookie Ashley Sutton surprised all by taking the pole position and his teammate Josh Cook made a 1-2 for MG Racing at the starting grid. Sutton had a slow start and he dropped to fourth while Cook was fighting against Mat Jackson in the Motorbase Performance’s Ford Focus. Sutton had a duel with Rob Collard before Safety car was deployed. The reason was the contact of Warren Scott’s Subaru and Ollie Jackson’s Audi and both went into the gravel.
Jackson pulled away after the re-start with Josh Cook chasing him. Behind their back, Tom Ingram passed Sutton for third. Sutton was then further demoted by the BMWs of Collard and Jack Goff. Sutton eventually fought his way back up to fifth. Collard held on to sixth ahead of Jeff Smith in the Eurotech Honda.
The race had a dramatic end after Matt Simpson and Daniel Welch made heavy contact and caused the another Safety Car intervention. In the meantime, the Subaru of James Cole burst into flames. With just one lap to go and three cars stopped on the track the race was red-flagged.
Rob Collard from sixth to the top
Mat Jackson started the second race from pole and led for much of the race but Rob Collard’s late move demoted him to second place. Collard was sixth on the grid and he progressed to third in the opening lap. He had to wait until lap 12 for passing Tom Ingram and few more laps to overtake Jackson.
The great battle happened for the final podium spot, with Tordoff, Goff and Ingram in the close fight with contacts and off-road excursions. After all Aron Smith in the BKR’s Volkswagen CC slipped into third place. Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal finished fourth and sixth respectively, with Jack Goff between them. Josh Cook again scored some valuable points for MG with seventh place. Sam Tordoff finished eight but he gets a good news that his number was picked at random in the reverse grid draw for the third race.
Neal wins on tyre strategy
Tordoff almost converted his pole position to the second victory for BMW but with three laps to go his soft compound tyres were too slow for hunting Hondas with hard tyres and Matt Neal overtook him. Shortly after that another Honda of Gordon Shedden also passed over BMW, so Tordoff finished third. His teammate Rob Collard took plenty of points by finishing fourth, ahead of the best rookie of the day Ashley Sutton.
Down to the order, the tyre choice determined the final positions. Jack Goff finished sixth, ahead of Aiden Moffat. Rob Austin showed late good pace to finish eighth in his Toyota Avensis, ahead of Josh Cook and Andrew Jordan.
The next BTCC round is scheduled for May 7-8 at Thruxton.