Tag Archives: Mat Jackson

BTCC

PLATO & JACKSON SHARE WINS AT SILVERSTONE TO
SET UP FOUR-WAY BRANDS HATCH TITLE-DECIDER
 
Jason Plato, with two wins, and Mat Jackson shared the victories in three astonishing Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races in front of a mammoth 30,000 crowd at the Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire today. Ultimately four drivers – Gordon Shedden, Plato, Matt Neal and Andrew Jordan – will go into the 2012 season’s final three races, on Brands Hatch’s legendary Grand Prix circuit in a fortnight (20/21 October), with a chance of being crowned Champion of Britain’s premier motor racing series.
 
After achieving his fifth pole position of the year – also his third in a row – with a qualifying lap record on Saturday, Oxford’s Plato went on to win today’s first race in his MG KX Momentum Racing MG6, but only after Jackson’s Redstone Racing Ford Focus cruelly retired from the lead with just a few laps to go.
 
Finishing second and third were Inverness’s Dave Newsham in his Team ES Racing.com Vauxhall Vectra and, with his first podium result, Jackson’s team-mate Aron Smith from Dublin. Fife’s Shedden took seventh in his Honda Yuasa Racing Team Honda Civic but Worcestershire team-mate Neal and Lichfield’s Jordan, in his Pirtek Racing Civic, both retired.
 
Warwickshire’s Jackson then won race two ahead of Hook’s Robert Collard (eBay Motors BMW) and Newsham with a quite incredible drive from 17th on the grid, this time after Plato retired from the lead. Jackson also set a new race lap record as he notched up the first victory for his squad’s NGTC-spec Focus. Shedden was again seventh with Jordan ninth while Neal suffered another retirement when his car spectacularly caught fire.
 
It was then Plato’s turn to wow the crowds as he came through from 20th to win race three ahead of Jackson and Collard. Shedden was sixth and Jordan seventh but, almost unbelievably, reigning Champion Neal retired again, this time after being forced off the track into a barrier.
 
As a result, Shedden still leads the table by 15 points from Plato who has moved past Neal into second overall. Neal is 31 behind Shedden and Jordan 61 adrift with a possible maximum of 67 still available from ‘Finals Day’.
 
An ecstatic Plato commented: “Despite the retirement in race two this is still one of the best days in my BTCC career. We’ve made more progress with our MG6 – in fact it’s a rocketship – and our tails are well and truly in the air. For MG to go into the final round with a chance of lifting the title in its first year back in the championship is fantastic and I really believe we’ve got the Honda boys worried.”
 
Shedden, from Dalgety Bay and who is aiming to become Scotland’s first BTCC Champion since John Cleland in 1995, said: “We knew this was going to be our bogey circuit so today was about picking up what crumbs we could – I don’t think we could have wrung any more out of the car. I expect us to be fully back on song at Brands Hatch which has got lots of high-speed corners where our Civic comes into its own. I’d take points in the bag any day and I’m feeling good about our chances.” Neal added: “Today has been a shocker but I’m not out of it yet – there are still a lot of points to be won at Brands and I’ll be going there with all guns blazing. Jason’s MG will be strong there and our main objective is to get a Honda over the line in first. Gordon is obviously better placed to do that so is the priority…”

 
Jordan will also go to Brands still with a healthy lead in the Independent Drivers Championship, although can still be caught by Collard, Jackson and eBay Motors’ Tom Onslow-Cole. He admitted: “Let’s be realistic. There’s no way the outright championship is possible so my focus will be to stay ahead of my Independent rivals. Rob has effectively halved the gap to 28 points but there are only 60 left at Brands and our car will be much stronger there.”
 
Jackson was delighted with his results today which marked his return to the podium since Thruxton in April. “A win from 17th, a second and a new lap record in a car that is still only two months old and it could have been two wins… I couldn’t be happier for everyone in my team,” he said.
 
Elsewhere Honda/Dynamics is all but assured the coveted Manufacturers/Constructors title. Similarly the Honda Yuasa Racing Team is a red hot favourite to retain the outright HiQ Teams Championship although can still be caught by eBay Motors. But it will be a three-way fight for the Independent Teams Trophy at Brands between new leader eBay Motors, Pirtek Racing and Redstone Racing – just ten points cover the trio with a potential 60 up for grabs in the finale.
 
Meanwhile a number of drivers were punished today by BTCC officials for on-track indiscretions. Race 1: Andy Neate, fined £500 and three penalty points on his competition licence for an incident with Andrew Jordan; Tony Gilham, official reprimand and two penalty points for an incident during a safety car period; Lea Wood, fined £500 and three penalty points for an incident with Liam Griffin. Race 3: Lea Wood, fined £500 and three penalty points for an incident with Matt Neal; Rob Austin, excluded from the results and four penalty points for an incident with Daniel Welch; Frank Wrathall, fined £500 and three penalty points for an incident with Dave Newsham; Andrew Jordan, received a verbal warning for making contact with another car.

Motorsports Mondial

 

Gordon Shedden leading the pack en route to two wins at Donington Park.

SHEDDEN & JACKSON SHARE WINS AT DONINGTON

PARK AS PLATO HANGS ON TO POINTS LEAD

Mat Jackson and Gordon Shedden shared the wins in today’s three highly-charged Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races at Leicestershire’s Donington Park circuit. But it is Jason Plato who, despite a crash, still leads the points table as Britain’s premier motor racing series heads south for its next three races at the fastest circuit on the calendar, Thruxton in Hampshire, on the weekend of 28/29 April.

Plato had given his MG KX Momentum Racing MG6 a first-ever pole position in Saturday’s qualifying session. But he could only finish fourth in today’s first race behind Jackson’s Redstone Racing Ford Focus ST and the Honda Yuasa Racing Team Honda Civics of Shedden and team-mate Matt Neal.

Shedden then led home Neal in race two for a dream 1-2 result for the factory Honda squad with Jackson following in third. It also meant the season’s first five races had each been won by a different driver, while Neal now took over the championship lead after Plato crashed out in a tangle with Robert Collard’s eBay Motors BMW.

In race three Jackson crossed the line in first ahead of Plato and Shedden. But officials then demoted Plato to third with a time penalty after they judged he had unfairly bumped Shedden off the track at the final bend. Officials also later excluded Jackson from the results after it was discovered his car had exceeded the permitted turbo boost limits, meaning the Warwickshire driver had to be content with just the one win on home ground.

His exclusion also meant Shedden inherited the victory ahead of Plato and a jubilant Tony Gilham who, in his Team HARD. Honda Civic, had achieved a maiden top three result as well as his first maximum score in the Independent Drivers Trophy. Plato also moved back to the top of the standings as Neal, the reigning Champion, span out of the race in a clash with Pirtek Racing Honda driver Andrew Jordan.

Oxford racer Plato, aiming for a third BTCC title in 2012, commented: “It’s been a very topsy-turvy day for me. The speed of the MG was clear for all to see with that brilliant pole position lap but then things just didn’t go our way in the races. My crash was just a racing incident but then to drive through from 17th to finish on the podium in race three again underlined just how special the MG is and I believe it will fly at Thruxton.”

Worcestershire’s Neal said: “Everything was going great until race three – a third in race one and then a great result for Honda in race two. But race three showed just how quickly it can all change in the BTCC and now I find myself chasing Jason again as we go to Thruxton. But the main thing is we’re still right in the hunt and my Honda won’t have quite so much success ballast to deal with as his MG around there.”

Following a torrid opening round two weeks ago at Brands Hatch, Fife ace Shedden, who becomes the first driver to win twice in 2012, has vaulted to sixth in the championship. He said: “I feel we’ve got our just rewards today despite Jason’s best efforts! The Honda has been fantastic all weekend around Donington and that’s a great sign for Thruxton where again having a good car in high speed corners counts for a lot. It’s the perfect way to bounce back after Brands Hatch and my championship is now back on track.”

Jackson was left to rue what might have been, saying: “Losing the win in race three is a big blow but a win and a third in the first two races are still two very good results. It’s shown we’re capable of taking it to factory teams and I’m going to Thruxton fully intent on rattling their cages again.”

Meanwhile Honda/Dynamics and the Honda Yuasa Racing Team respectively have moved to the top of both the Manufacturers/Constructors and HiQ Teams championships. Jordan and his Pirtek squad have also increased their leads in the Independent Drivers and Teams title races.

Elsewhere a number of teams and drivers were penalised by officials at Donington Park. MG KX Momentum Racing, Rob Austin Racing and Thorney Motorsport all received verbal warnings for moving their cars into their pit garages without permission before the session had ended. Chris James received an official reprimand and 2 penalty points on his competition licence for an on-track incident in race one plus, later, a further 3 penalty points and a £1000 fine for using abusive language and behaviour within the venue. Jeff Smith, Dave Newsham and Andrew Jordan received verbal warnings for on-track incidents. Jason Plato received a 2-second penalty for gaining an unfair advantage on-track. Mat Jackson was excluded from the results of race three for a technical infringement.

Jackson loses race three win

Mat Jackson has been excluded from victory in Donington Park’s third Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race for a technical infringement.

Officials found after the race his Redstone Racing Ford Focus ST had exceeded permitted turbo boost limits.

It means Gordon Shedden inherits the win ahead of Jason Plato and Tony Gilham.

Shedden’s Honda Yuasa Racing Team Honda Civic had crossed the line in third place.

But he was promoted to second after officials had given Plato a two-second time penalty after his MG KX Momentum Racing MG6 had bumped the Scot’s Honda off the track at the final bend.

This initially dropped Plato back to third which now becomes second following Jackson’s exclusion.

Similarly it means a first ever top-three result for Gilham who had crossed the line in fourth in his Team HARD. Honda Civic.

Provisionally a revised championship points table reads: 1, Jason Plato 84; 2 Matt Neal 80; 3, Andrew Jordan 76; 4, Robert Collard 71; 5, Gordon Shedden 69; 6 Mat Jackson 60 etc.