Mat Jackson is known as a race 3 master
(Photo from: www.btcc.net)
Mat Jackson won an emotional first win of 2017 ahead of a charging Ashley Sutton in the final race of the day at Croft in the British Touring Car Championship. Jackson, who started third on the grid quickly made his way past Rob Austin before robustly getting past pole sitter Ollie Jackson at Sunny In.
It was Ollie Jackson who started on pole as the top nine were revered with Austin second and Jackson third. It was Ollie Jackson who got the best start with his namesake just behind him at the end of the first lap.
However the safety car was deployed after Aiden Moffat and Will Burns found themselves in trouble at the first corner, with both retired, which included a tyre stack being hit and sent into the middle of the circuit.
Once the safety car had returned to the pits a lap later the Jackson’s drove away from Austin howeer Mat’s elbows were out and following a forceful move on lap 3, he was through to the lead, though Ollie Jackson found himself down in ninth.
Behind though there were charges from multiple drivers, most notably Matt Neal who worked his way up from 18th and into the top 10 within a few laps. One driver who was falling though was Andrew Jordan, who, having started fifth dropped to eighth by lap 7.
Ashley Sutton was also performing superbly, who battled up to fourth before being caught behind Plato. However by lap 7 he was past his teammate at the hairpin and was quickly on the back of Austin, who by lap 8 was 3.2 seconds behind Jackson.
A lap later though and Sutton was through, and quickly set his sights on Jackson in the lead. Behind the lead duo, the action was hotting up with Austin defending valiantly from Plato as the two Yuasa Halfords Hondas and Team BMW’s fought for positions.
Following fair amount of contact, Matt Neal eventually came out on top after colliding with Collard at Sunny In, pushing the BMW driver down to ninth.
Onto the final lap and Sutton was all over the back of Jackson’s Ford. After attempting a move round the outside of the hairpin at the death, Jackson held on to take his first win of the season, dedicating it to his teammate Luke Davenport, who remains in a coma following the awful accident during qualifying.
Sutton came home second with Plato third, pipping Austin on the run to the flag, with Matt Neal fifth and Turkington sixth. Andrew Jordan recovered to seventh followed by Collard and Shedden with Ollie Jackson rounding out the top 10.