Three from three at dramatic Thruxton

Andrew Jordan has extended his lead in the championship following a string of strong results at Thruxton. He led race one from lights to flag and picked up a second and a fourth from races two and three, enabling him to take an eight point lead into Oulton Park in just over a months time. Gordon Shedden and Colin Turkington also stood on the top step of the podium. It was a disappointing day for Jason Plato, who had been tied on points with Jordan coming into the weekend, after sixth and seventh place finishes were followed up by a DNF in race three.

Jordan started his weekend well by qualifying on pole position for the first race. He was able to pull away and cement his lead while others battles for position behind him. Rob Collard, who was the best placed of the eBay Motors drivers after qualifying – starting in eighth place, made another of the fast starts that the BMW drivers have become accustomed to. He rose to fifth place while Mat Jackson moved into second ahead of the Honda duo of Matt Neal and Shedden. Later on in the race both drivers got their positions back and the race finished as a Honda 1-2-3. Elsewhere James Cole and Warren Scott had a coming together which was unfortunate for Cole after the team had spent the past two weeks rebuilding his car following the heavy collision with Robb Holland at Donington. Incidently, Holland had not been able to get his car ready in time and so missed the Thruxton weekend although will be back for Oulton Park. Ollie Jackson’s car came to a halt on track while Aron Smith had to visit the pit-lane to get grass removed from his radiator. At the chequered flag M Jackson was the first non Honda finisher, ahead of the fast starting Collard and MG’s Plato. Alain Menu, Colin Turkington, Adam Morgan and Sam Tordoff were also in the top ten. The other points finishers were Jack Goff, Fabrizio Giovanardi, Tom Ingram, Nick Foster and Glynn Geddie.

At the start of race two, Collard made another of his fast starts, slotting into third place. Shedden made an unsuccessful attempt for the lead but was not able to pull it off. Menu received a drive through penalty for a jump start while Chris Stockton struggled to keep his car on track. On the eleventh lap of the race Shedden took the lead from Jordan. There was drama when Rob Austin and Foster had a coming together, resulting in Foster’s car making a high speed exit from the track at Church and launching over the tyre barrier. Thankfully the driver was able to get out of the car himself and was O.K, with the team being able to fix his car ahead of race three. Austin was penalised for the incident and given four penalty points. The race was red flagged with a lap to go and Shedden took the win, finishing ahead of Jordan and Collard who made a welcome return to the podium at his home race. Neal, Jackson, Turkington, Plato, Morgan, Goff and Giovanardi also finished in the top ten. Other point scorers were Tordoff, Ingram, Marc Hynes, Smith, and Geddie. After finishing in tenth place Giovanardi picked the number for reverse pole and was delighted after giving it to himself.

After Collard taking the eBay Motors lead in the first two races it was Turkington’s time to impress when he progressed from fifth to second by the first corner. He lead the race by the end of lap one, leaving Giovanardi to fend off team-mate M Jackson. Plato’s race came to a premature and disappointing end when Adam Morgan lost control of his car and, when trying to correct it, turned into Plato and broke his rear suspension. The safety car was deployed on lap five following another big off at Church corner. This time it was Ollie Jackson who was also able to get out of the car himself and indicated that he was O.K. Racing was resumed again on lap nine however it was not for long as Simon Belcher became the next victim of Church. His car rolled as it went over the barriers and he later revealed that he had hit a tree. He too was O.K. and out of the car, giving a thumbs up to the crowd. Racing resumed again on lap 14 and there was a tense battle between Neal, Shedden and Collard. Shedden overtook Goff under yellow flags and the positions were reversed after the race. Collard was given a tap by Shedden and as he and Neal fought for position, they took to the grass following contact from the BMW. Collard was given a verbal warning. Up at the front Turkington won the race ahead of M Jackson and it was a welcome return to the podium for Giovanardi. Jordan, Goff, Shedden, Smith, Morgan, Tordoff, and Collard rounded out the top ten. Menu, Austin, Ingram, Newsham, and Hynes also finished in the points.

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