Aron Smith wins third race at Oulton Park
BTCC News | Sun 8th June 2014Aron Smith made the most of his reverse grid pole position to win the final race of the day at Oulton Park.
By Matt Lamprell
The Chrome Edition Restart Racing driver finished race two in eighth position and was drawn on pole position by teammate Alain Menu.
The sunshine of earlier in the day gave way to a heavy downpour ahead of race three, forcing the postponement of the much anticipated second Super Tourer race of the weekend. However, when the BTCC pack headed out on track, the rain had stopped, although the track was still wet.
It was wet enough for all except James Cole, whose United Autosports Toyota was starting mid-way back on the grid, to start on grooved wet tyres.
At the start, Aron Smith converted pole position into the lead of the race, ahead of Mat Jackson and Rob Collard.
However, there wasn’t time for the race to gain any momentum, as a clash between Matt Neal and Jack Goff saw the deployment of the safety car halfway around the first lap.
It was only a brief delay though, as racing resumed at the start of lap three. The track was still wet and evidently quite slippery at this point in the race – as Mat Jackson discovered to his cost, sliding wide from second position. As he hit the grass, he looked destined for the barriers, but an impressive hold saw him rejoin – albeit down the order in 14th position.
It seemed like no-one wanted second place, as Rob Collard, who had inherited the spot after Jackson’s off, straight-lined the chicane and allowed Gordon Shedden through.
As the race went on, the track got drier. A clear dry line emerged, but as the rubber wore down on the grooved tyres, they continued to become quicker.
At the front, Aron Smith was on fine form, controlling his Volkwagen in the tough conditions. Behind him, Gordon Shedden was in second and it was the Honda driver who looked more like losing his position, coming under pressure from the chasing pair of Colin Turkington and Jason Plato.
However, when the chequered flag fell, the order was unchanged. Aron Smith won for the second time in his BTCC career, ahead of Shedden and Plato. Colin Turkington completed an impressive weekend with a fourth place finish, with Rob Austin in fifth and Sam Tordoff, sixth. Seventh place went to Alain Menu, ahead of Andrew Jordan, Mat Jackson and Fabrizio Giovanardi.