Mat Jackson transformed what had been a disappointing weekend with his second victory of the season in round 18 at Snetterton this afternoon. However the biggest cheer of the weekend was reserved for Motorbase Performance’s Steven Kane, who scored the best ever result for the Kent-based team, finishing second in the final race.
Team Halfords’ Gordon Shedden started race three from pole position, but lost out on the run to Riches to the rear-wheel drive BMWs of Jackson and Kane, with the BMW Dealer Team UK driver just fending off his Motorbase rival. Shedden ensured that Kane had to work hard in the early stages of the race, pushing the former Porsche racer all round the Snetterton circuit. But the steering on Shedden’s Civic gave way on lap five, when he caught the back of Kane on the exit from Riches.
Championship leader Fabrizio Giovanardi quickly improved on his sixth position grid spot, passing Rob Collard and Matt Neal. Collard also lost out to Colin Turkington and Matt Neal inside the first couple of laps.
Winner of the first two races, Jason Plato was struggling to make an impact in race three, languishing outside the top ten. As his pace in the Leon started to drop off further, he pitted and eventually retired with what appeared to be an engine issue.
Into the second half of the race and the lead trio of Jackson, Kane and Giovanardi were covered by less than a second. In just his first season of BTCC racing, Kane showed amazing maturity to keep the pressure on the leader while also fending off the multiple touring car champion. The three ran together for the remainder of the race, and despite Jackson running wide on the final lap, there were no changes in the order.
Mat Jackson took victory ahead of Steven Kane and Fabrizio Giovanardi. Matt Neal came home in fourth while Tom Onslow-Cole ensured there were three Vauxhalls in the top five when he passed Colin Turkngton for fifth. Turkington finished the race in sixth, with Tom Chilton seventh. Adam Jones (eighth) and Stephen Jelley (ninth) both passed Rob Collard when the Motorbase runner took avoiding action around the crawling Jason Plato. Collard finished in tenth. Following the race, Adam Jones was excluded from the results when his SEAT Leon was found to be underweight, promoting Collard to ninth and John George to tenth for his first championship point of the season.
As the BTCC heads to Oulton Park in Cheshire, Fabrizio Giovanardi holds a 34-point lead in the drivers’ championship, ahead of teammate Matt Neal. Jason Plato is third, a further five points behind. Colin Turkington heads the independents’ standings from Mat Jackson, Adam Jones and Steven Kane,