Jackson victorious in final race
19 June 2011 – Mat Jackson claimed his third victory of 2011 at Croft this afternoon, holding off rookie Nick Foster who achieved a personal best second place finish behind the wheel of his WSR BMW 320si. The two drivers were separated by just six tenths at the finish line, while Foster's team-mate Rob Collard completed the podium.
Although the BMW duo continued to apply immense pressure, Jackson resolutely defended the lead. Halfway through the race, Foster elected to allow his team-mate through, although Collard was also unable to overhaul the Henley-in-Arden man. The WSR pair reverted to their previous positions at the final corner of the final lap, much to the delight of Foster.
“Boy, that was hard!” winner Jackson laughed after the race. “Those BMWs are mighty around here and I had to nurse the tyres for the last half of the race. Luckily, there were yellow flags on the last lap at the hairpin where they were strongest, so I could breathe a bit easier. It’s a great result to go into the summer break with and gets us right back on to Matt Neal’s tail.”
Andrew Jordan and former championship leader James Nash brought their respective Pirtek and Triple Eight Vectras home in the top five, with Nash having muscled past the Hondas of Gordon Shedden and double Croft winner Matt Neal. Chevrolet’s Alex MacDowall, following a battle with Neal, came home eighth after being passed on the last lap as Tom Chilton’s AON Focus and the Special Tuning Leon of Dave Newsham completed the leading ten.
Reigning Champion Jason Plato, who started from the rear end of the grid, failed to climb to the points and could only manage 11th on a disappointing day which had begun with the Race 1 pole position. There was also more frustration for Paul O’Neill, whose Tech-Speed Cruze spun on the penultimate lap after contact with Shaun Hollamby’s AmD Milltek Golf. First to retire was the Dynojet Toyota of Frank Wrathall, which flew off the circuit and into a corn field at high speed.
Halfway through the 2011 campaign, Matt Neal continues to lead, with Jackson now his closest challenger and nine points in arrears. With Shedden, Jordan and Nash completing the top five, Plato slips to sixth and is now 40 points off the championship lead in what is his first title-defending season.
The BTCC now moves into its seven-week summer break, with the action continuing at Snetterton on 6-7 August