Mat Jackson has taken the first win for Motorbase Performance’s first self-built car, the NGTC-spec Ford Focus ST at Silverstone, driving from 17th through to first, with championship protagonists Matt Neal and Jason Plato both not finishing.
Jason Plato started on pole for Triple Eight MG courtesy of his race one victory, and led from Rob Collard at the start, who repeated his fast-start in the rear-wheel drive BMW 320si from fourth on the grid into the first corner, and was able to challenge Plato for the lead for the first lap.
By the end of the first lap, Mat Jackson was up to 12th having started 17th in his Ford Focus ST, whilst Matt Neal had worked his way up to 15th from 20th in his Honda Civic.
Neal was unable to hold on to 15th though, clearly struggling in the Honda, dropping spots to Dan Welch’s Proton and Andrew Jordan’s Honda early on and falling to 17th.
Mat Jackson though was on a charge in the Ford Focus, which has been top of the speed traps all weekend. By lap six, Jackson was already up to seventh, passing Tom Onslow-Cole’s BMW and Gordon Shedden’s Honda on the same lap, and on lap eight was able to pass both Nick Foster’s BMW and Rob Austin’s Audi A4 to move into fifth.
Also on lap nine, Andy Neate was involved in contact for the second time today. Will Bratt in the Rob Austin Racing Audi cut across the nose of Neate’s MG, the resulting damage gave Neate a puncture and saw Bratt forced to retire from the race.
There was drama on lap 13 as Matt Neal’s Honda was blasting fire out from the exhaust. The reigning champion pulled to a stop in front of a marshal’s post for attention. Neal climbed out of the car and aided the marshals in putting out the flames, as the safety car was called.
After the restart, with the pack now bunched back up, Mat Jackson continued his charge, passing his team-mate Aron Smith for fourth and then took Dave Newsham’s Team ES Racing Vauxhall on the following lap.
On lap 19, Jackson was lining up a pass on Rob Collard’s BMW for second just as Jason Plato’s MG stopped on the start-finish straight with an electrical problem, which saw Jackson take the lead. Jackson went on to take his third win of the season, and the first for the new Motorbase Performance Ford Focus which was introduced at Snetterton less than two months ago.
Nick Foster lost a few spots in the final two laps, as team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole nipped past him on the penultimate lap, and Gordon Shedden dived past in his Honda which also allowed Dan Welch’s Proton and Andrew Jordan’s Honda through. The positive for Foster is that with the reverse grid draw of the top ten cars, he will start from pole for the final race of the day.
In the championship, Plato looked set to close to just six points behind Shedden, but after his DNF, there’s some respite for Shedden, as he now leads by 21 points over Neal and 27 points over Plato going into the final race of the day, where he will start fourth and Jason Plato will start 20th.
The final race takes place at 17:17 BST.