If you’ve already read the editorial you’ll know ESM attended Thruxton for the BTCC at the start of the month. Now, here’s our BTCC Correspondent’s full round-up. Forgive him for the delay; he’s had a first-born child to christen.
Jordan On Form As Plato Falters
Jordan celebrates another victory
The latest rounds of the 2014 British Touring Car Championship brought more joy to current champion, Andrew Jordan, with a 1st, 2nd and 4th, but his main challenger going into the weekend, Jason Plato, certainly faltered with a 6th, 7th and a DNF. This meant that at the end of the weekend the pair were separated by 35 points after starting as joint leaders. The weekend provided plenty of high speed action, seen more clearly from the television set than at the circuit itself I have found out, and some notable incidents at the high speed Church corner in particular.
Saturday qualifying saw Jordan put his Pirtek Honda in top spot, which was followed by the Yuasa Honda of Matt Neal, who incredibly hadn’t had a front row start for a year and a half since Croft in 2012. The top 3 was completed by another Honda, of Gordon Shedden, with Mat Jackson, Tom Ingram and Plato completing the top 6. There was an unusually poor qualifying for 2009 champion, Colin Turkington, as he finished 13th.
Race One saw the top 4 get away cleanly from the line, with Rob Collard using his rear wheel drive advantage to climb from 8th to 5th off the start. The opening lap saw the impressive Jackson overtake both Neal and Shedden before he challenged Jordan for the lead coming into the complex. However, despite being a car length ahead, Jordan out-braked Jackson to retain the lead. Race One was seriously low on action, hence the need to mention that Warren Scott and James Cole had an off coming into the complex on lap 3.
By lap 7, Jackson’s early momentum had steadied out and he was busy defending from Neal, which only lasted another lap until both Yuasa Racing Hondas found a way past thanks to a good bit of teamwork. The following lap saw Turkington make more progress after his poor qualifying with a fine move around the outside of Adam Morgan for 8th before arriving at Church corner. The only other note from the race worthy to mention, was that in the last couple of laps Collard needed to make his BMW as wide as possible to defend from Plato, something he just managed. Overall, a poor race won by Jordan from Neal, Shedden, Jackson, Collard and Plato.
Victorious Jordan celebrates after race one
Then carries his trophy back to the team
Luckily Race Two provided a little more entertainment, but again, it was hardly a classic. Jordan and Neal were both cleanly away from the line and another fine Collard start helped him climb up the order. Collard was soon to be 2nd as Shedden out-braked himself trying to jump Jordan.
Jordan leads the way at the start of race two
Lap 2 saw confirmation that Alain Menu had received a drive-through penalty for being out of position on the grid, a shame considering he finished the first race 7th and was running well again. Following his trip through the pits, Menu returned to the track down the grid before finishing a lowly 18th. (more…)