16 August 2009
Jackson heads first Silverline 1-2
Mat Jackson picked up his second win of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship season at Knockhill, with Jason Plato storming through the field to help Racing Silverline to its first 1-2 finish.
Having made the most of an incident ahead of him on track, Jackson was able to control things from the front as his rivals battled behind to take the win from Plato, while Vauxhall team orders on the final lap allowed Fabrizio Giovanardi to complete the podium.
At the start, poleman James Thompson made the perfect start to lead into Duffus Dip for the first time while Paul O'Neill was slow away from alongside on the front row. That gave Matt Neal a run into turn one and when the pair went side-by-side, O'Neill found himself hung out to dry and plummeted down the order. The battling also allowed Colin Turkington to dive through into second place ahead of Neal, with Jackson, Johnny Adam and Stephen Jelley completing the top six.
Thompson lead by nearly three seconds at the end of the opening lap as a result of the battles behind, but the Safety Car was soon deployed when contact between Gordon Shedden and Rob Collard going into turn one saw Shedden go straight on into the barriers. As the field circulated behind the Safety Car, there was added drama as the fire extinguisher in Adam's car suddenly went off, with the Scot forced to pit to retire just as the race resumed.
Neal was soon under pressure from Jackson, while behind him, Giovanardi has got ahead of Jelley and – with Adam's retirement – now lay fifth. Plato meanwhile was lying twelfth at the end of the seventh lap.
Within a matter of laps, Plato was into the top ten but out front, his team-mate was making up places, as Jackson followed Neal past Turkington on lap ten.
The battle for the lead then saw Neal putting Thompson under pressure and things came to a head on lap 17 when Neal made his move at Carlube, Thompson attempted to defend and that slowed both cars, with Jackson nipping past the pair into the lead ahead of Thompson and Neal. At the hairpin on the same lap, Giovanardi took fourth from Turkington who then saw Plato – continuing to storm up the order – take fifth place.
That left Jackson leading from Thompson, Neal, Giovanardi, Plato and Turkington, but on the 19th lap, Neal went inside Thompson at Carlube and was able to make the move stick, with Thompson's Honda running wide and Giovanardi following through, Plato then demoted the Honda still further when he cut back inside exiting the hairpin to go fourth.
Within two laps, Plato was third after taking Giovanardi going into Duffus and the Italian soon had Turkington on his tail after the Team RAC man got ahead of Thompson going into Duffus on lap 23.
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