Oulton Park: Smith avoids chaos to take Oulton victory

Aron Smith wins an epic reversed grid Oulton Park finale to record his second career BTCC success.
BMR's Aron Smith has won the reversed grid BTCC finale at Oulton Park after driving a perfectly controlled race amid tricky conditions.

Smith started the reversed race three grid from pole-position and led every lap despite a heavy downpour soaking the Cheshire circuit before the racing even began.

Airwaves Racing's Mat Jackson was the BMR VW's initial challenger but a mistake into Cascades on the restart following a brief safety car period sent Jackson's Focus into a spectacular corner long slide back down to twelfth position.

The BMR man then had to resist the advances of not two but three former BTCC champions in the shape of Gordon Shedden, double Oulton winner Colin Turkington and MG's Jason Plato.

Smith brilliantly soaked up the pressure as the race began to move into his direction when the challengers behind all vied to each become the leading threat to the VW.

Contact involving BMW's Rob Collard and Triple Eights Plato into Lodge corner allowed Turkington through into third where the Ulsterman immediately latched onto the back of Shedden's second placed Civic Tourer.

Their tussle for second allowed Smith to stretch his advantage by a car length or two which lessened the pressure for the Irishman to take his second ever career BTCC win.

The action didn't end there, however, as Turkington and Plato came to blows after the pair numerously switched positions within half a lap while the BMW began to struggle to keep tyre life on the ever-drying circuit.

Turkington managed to move his WSR machine back into third by taking advantage of a small error on Plato's part in turn 1 but the MG made a 'tap to pass' halfway into lap 10 and moved back onto the final step of the rostrum.

Plato finished third on track but was handed a 1.5 second post-race penalty for his deemed unfair manoeuvre, which reversed the positions in Turkington's favour.

Audi's Rob Austin enhanced his strongest 2014 race weekend with another top five points finish to add to his first podium of the year in race two. As a further bonus, his third position in the second race was further promoted to a second step on the rostrum following Collard's post-race time penalty.

MG's Sam Tordoff, not for the first this weekend, was sixth and was closely by BTCC legend Alain Menu in seventh.

Defending champion Andrew Jordan, now third in the BTCC standings, turned in his best drive of the day in eighth while the Airwaves duo of Jackson and Fabrizio Giovanardi completed the top ten.

Tagged as: VW , Oulton Park , Aron Smith

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Aron Smith (IRL) CHROME Edition Restart Racing Volkswagen CC
BMW returns to the BTCC with WSR
Ashley Sutton - Subaru Team BMR [pic credit BTCC]
Jack Goff, Eurotech Racing, [Credit: BTCC media]
Matt Simpson, Team Dynamics, [Credit: BTCC Media]
Rob Austin, Handy Motorsport [Credit: Handy Motorsport]
Andrew Jordan, WSR Pirtek BMW [Credit:Jakob Ebrey]
Mat Jackson, Motorbase Performance, Shredded Wheat [Credit: Motorbase]
Gordon Shedden, Matt Neal, Halfords Yuasa Racing [Credit: Halfords Yuasa]
Ant Whorton-Eales,, BTCC [Credit:]
Mat Jackson, Motorbase Performance, Shredded Wheat [Credit: Motorbase]
Senna Proctor, Power Maxed Racing, BTCC [Credit: BTCC media]

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June 09, 2014 9:02 AM

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