BMR's Aron Smith has brilliantly fended off a multi-car onslaught to record his third career BTCC victory at a classic Snetterton finale.

The traditional reversed grid finale was already filled with drama following the news of Andrew Jordan's withdrawal from the race, again on medical grounds.

On track, the action was just as dramatic as Smith's lead was already well under threat heading into turn one.

Airwaves' Fabrizio Giovanardi made a sterling getaway which handed the Italian an opportunity to slingshot around the outside into Riches, Smith stood strong as he did so for the remainder of the race.

Although the Irishman backed a queue stemming nearly to the rear of the end of the top ten, constant battles throughout that freight train allowed Smith to vital breathing space when needed.

With the Motorbase cars sitting second and third, their battle to become Smith's main challenger allowed Matt Neal, Colin Turkington and Jason Plato to close in on the fight.

Just as Jackson finally squeezed Giovanardi down to third, Neal and Turkington's tussle combusted behind the Motorbase duo which ended with the Civic Tourer spectacularly meandering across the circuit heading into Montreal.

Amazingly all of the chasing pack managed to avoid making contact with the helpless Honda.

With Neal taken care of Turkington then set about the leading trio but couldn't manage an opening as Plato began to breathe heaver on the BMW's rear bumper.

Then on the final lap, as Giovanardi attempted in vain to defend his podium slot, the former double-champions race crashed and burned as his Airwaves Focus span out of control with three corners to go.

Despite at one point challenging for the lead, Giovanardi's quest for that illusive comeback victory ended with an eventual 13th.

His team mate Jackson could do nothing about Smith but the BTCC points leader Turkington took a valuable third podium of the day while Plato, Gordon Shedden, Rob Collard and Sam Tordoff all followed through to take fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh.

Such was the ferocity of the battle, Plato was still able to salvage fourth despite looking to have struggled on the soft tyre.

Adam Morgan, Marc Hynes and Jack Goff all completed an ultra close top ten in eight, ninth and tenth respectively.

Hynes' ninth place finish handed MG a second consecutive three-car brace to make the top ten.