Austin wins third race at Rockingham
BTCC News | Sun 7th September 2014Rob Austin took a popular victory in the third race of the day at Rockingham, while Colin Turkington further extended his championship lead by finishing fourth.
By Matt Lamprell
Alain Menu started the race from pole position thanks to a reversal of the top six finishers from race two to form the grid for race three. However, Austin made the most of his Audi’s rear-wheel propulsion to lead into the Deene hairpin for the first time.
Gordon Shedden’s potentially championship-ending weekend continued in the frustrating manner in which it had started. The Honda Yuasa Racing driver found himself involved in an accident that started with a mistake from Hunter Abbott. The Audi driver slid across the track and collected both Shedden and Marc Hynes. All three limped around the track, but were destined for retirement without completing a single racing lap.
With the pace that Turkington had shown in races one and two, a minimum grid reversal of six places set the eBay Motors driver up with a possible route to a spectacular hat-trick. However, the story of the race developed very early on. Austin and Menu pulled away at the front, while Andrew Jordan settled into third.
Turkington moved to fourth at the start and was soon on the tail of Jordan. With one eye on the championship and his ever-growing lead, Turkington might have been happy to settle for fourth, but he in turn was being kept on his toes. In the first of the Airwaves Racing Fords, Mat Jackson pressured Turkington, looking to push the former champion into a mistake.
The 16 lap race continued in this pattern throughout its duration. In the end, though, there were no changes. Austin held on out at the front, ahead of Menu. Jordan managed to fend off Turkington for third, while the eBay driver claimed fourth. Mat Jackson finished fifth, ahead of Collard, Plato and Tordoff. Matt Neal and Dave Newsham completed the top ten.
Race winner Rob Austin said, “I didn’t think this was going to come after qualifying. We made some tweaks overnight and the car has been better today. A huge thankyou to everybody involved.
“It’s so hard to get a good start with the long first gear. I got it wrong on my practice start, but managed to get it right when it mattered.”
Alain Menu said, “It’s been a long time coming. At last we’re on the podium. It’s great for the team. I tried to chase Rob, but I just couldn’t catch him. We should have had podiums much earlier in the season, so it’s a bit of a relief.”
Colin Turkington said, “Ultimately we didn’t have the pace on the soft tyres. It was a difficult situation with Mat [Jackson] right on my bumper keeping me honest through the race.
“It’s been a super day for the eBay Motors team – two wins and a fourth. It’s a good place to be.”
Click here to see full race three results from Rockingham