Aron Smith defends from Gordon Shedden to win Rockingham final race

Aron Smith won the third race of the day at Rockingham for Team BKR. The Volkswagen driver defended perfectly from Honda’s Gordon Shedden, who had to resist a charging Colin Turkington in his Team BMR Subaru.

Smith led the way after the start, despite a better getaway from Team Dynamics’ Matt Neal. Meanwhile the West Surrey Racing BMW of Jack Goff and the BKR Volkswagen of Mark Howard made contact, and a safety car was required to clear the track after the incident with Smith leading from Neal, Mat Jackson’s Ford, MG’s Ashley Sutton and Motorbase Performance driver Andrew Jordan.

The race restarted and it was immediately Shedden who put on the show, making up places up be to third by lap six. Two laps later Neal let his team-mate through, just before another safety car period was required due to contact between Triple Eight’s Ash Sutton and Power Maxed Chevrolet’s Dave Newsham.

Smith had built a three-second gap, which was neutralised due to the caution period. At the restart, the Irishman kept Shedden at bay, while Colin Turkington started making up places and was up to third before the safety car was once again deployed to recover Scott Warren’s car as the Subaru stopped on track.

The race resumed with three laps to go and, despite Shedden’s best efforts, the race was won by Smith. The Scotsman was second ahead of Turkington, who made a great recovery to finish on the last podium spot. Matt Neal managed his option tyres perfectly to finish fourth in the Team Dynamics Honda, ahead of Mat Jackson. Rob Collard was sixth in his BMW ahead of Adam Morgan’s Mercedes.

Jake Hill also had a very good race and finished eighth in the Team HARD Toyota Avensis. Ciceley Racing’s Aiden Moffat and a recovering Jason Plato in the Subaru completed the top ten. Championship leader Sam Tordoff struggled with option tyres and finished just outside the points in 16th in his WSR BMW.

Despite the setback in the third race, Tordoff still leads the championship by five points over Neal. Shedden is third, now just 20 points behind the leader, with Mat Jackson fourth a further eight points adrift and Collard on -31 from the leader.

The BTCC will now return to action on September 18th, at Silverstone.