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Jackson holds off Shedden for BTCC race three win at Oulton Park

Sunday, June 05 2011

Mat Jackson withstood pressure from form man Gordon Shedden for all but a few laps of the final British Touring Car Championship race of the day at Oulton Park.

The Airwaves driver took advantage of his pole position but had to give best to West Surrey Racing's Nick Foster at the start. Nevertheless he passed the BMW on the run out of Cascades on lap one to lead into the hairpin. Meanwhile Shedden was looking for a way past O'Neill and as they headed up Clay Hill, the pair positioned themselves either side of Foster's BMW, ready to pounce.

O'Neill found that his side was a little more uneven than Shedden's and caught his car on a bump, pitching him into a tank-slapper. The Chevrolet left the road, ending O'Neill's hopes and bringing out the safety car. Meanwhile just behind him, Collard and Nash collided, sending the Vauxhall into a spin.

When the race resumed, Jackson made a good getaway, whilst Shedden repeated the leader's move from lap one on Foster to take second. At this point it seemed inevitable that the Honda would soon be past the Ford and into the lead. As if to confirm that forecast, the sister car of Neal's had rocketed up from the back of the grid to eighth when the race was neutralised and was now attacking Plato. He didn't need long to take the place and set off after a fight between both BMWs, Andrew Jordan and Alex MacDowall. As the latter slowed with troubles, Neal had his hands full with the WSR team mates. A touch of oversteer out of Old Hall from Collard gave Neal the initiative and by the time they reached Knickerbrook, he had also claimed Foster's scalp.

Plato was next to have a go at the ailing BMWs but a move into Lodge was robustly defended by Collard and put paid to both their races, undoing all the hard work that Plato had put in this weekend. This left Foster, Boardman, Neate, Chilton and Newsham together on the track and they put on a fine display of racing for several laps. Foster would eventually find himself at the back of this pack.

Meanwhile the Honda pair were finding themselves unable to progress further in the race. Shedden was powerless to attack the race leader, as Jackson started to post faster laps, almost by a second as they neared the finish. Neal, however, was still in a punchy mood and sat inches from the Vauxhall's bootlid. An attempt at Knickerbrook saw both miss the chicane and that was as close as Neal came to the podium today.

Boardman finished fifth, giving him some cheer after race one, whilst Neate claimed sixth from team mate Tom Chilton, with Dave Newsham eighth on his debut with Special Tuning Racing, Foster ninth and Jeff Smith a fine tenth.

Matt Neal leaves the Cheshire track with the slimmest of points leads, two points from team mate Shedden. Jackson's win keeps him in touch with 96 points, one point ahead of James Nash and five clear of Plato.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship - Round 12 Result:

1. Mat Jackson, Airwaves, Ford, 17 Laps
2. Gordon Shedden, Honda, +4.388s
3. Andrew Jordan, Pirtek, Vauxhall, +6.489s
4. Matt Neal, Honda, +6.933s
5. Tom Boardman, STR, SEAT, +27.307s
6. Andy Neate, AON, Ford, +27.508s
7. Tom Chilton, AON, Ford, +28.276s
8. Dave Newsham, STR, SEAT, +29.172s
9. Nick Foster, WSR, BMW, +30.256s
10. Jeff Smith, Pirtek, Vauxhall, +34.334s

The next major event at Oulton Park will be the British Superbike Championship on July 15-17. Tickets are available from £25 for adults, with free entry for Children 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click the link below.