Boardman takes controversial first win in race threePosted: September 5, 2011
The SEAT driver started from second on the grid but suffered too much wheelspin on the grid and had to be contempt with that position as pole-sitter Jason Plato made a good start to hang onto his lead into the first corner.
Boardman was immediately in hot pursuit and the power of his turbocharged SEAT Leon was apparent to see as he forced Plato to defend the inside line into the first corner at the end of the first lap. The straight-line speed of Boardman again allowed him to challenge into the first corner a lap later but Plato still managed to hang onto the lead.
As the field exited the hairpin for the third time, Boardman had another go but was again forced to the outside of the track and tried to cut back to the inside at Leslies, but instead dramatically made contact with the back of Plato and sent the Chevrolet spearing into the barriers. Plato was visibly furious, throwing the steering wheel and slamming the drivers door in disgust.
The saftey car was brought out as a result to clear the Chevy Cruze from the track, where Boardman again found himself in the wars. As the safety car was about to peel off for the restart Boardman had slowed the pack up, which caused a chain reaction as cars – including Boardman’s Special Tuning team-mate Dave Newsham – arrived too quickly and took to the grass in avoidane, Aron Smith clattering into the back of team-mate James Nash, resulting in another safety car.
Boardman lead the pack away at the next restart without trouble this time, and by lap 22 was being put under intense pressure from Rob Collard as the WSR BMW again came on strong in the closing stages of the race.
Collard tried everything to find a way around the SEAT driver, but Boardman drove a superb defensive drive to just hang on for his maiden BTCC win by a mere 0.197s at the flag. Frank Wrathall completed a sensational weekend with another podium finish in third ahead of Matt Neal and new championship leader Gordon Shedden in fourth and fifth.
Tom Chilton fiished sixth ahead of Andrew Jordan who recovered after an off-road moment at the chicane on the first lap, while Tom Onslow-Cole(Ford), Nick Foster (BMW) and Alex MacDowall (Chevrolet) rounded out the top 10.
Mat Jackson’s miserable weekend looked set to improve in the final race when he made his way up towards the top 10, and made a stunning move around the outside of Tom Onslow-Cole and Andrew Jordan around the outside of the hairpin on lap 13, making it three cars as he out-dragged Nick Foster heading into the first corner.
But Jackson’s woed continued as he found himself in a battle with Tom Chilton who had dropped from third to sixth after a mistake at Scotsman’s corner that allowed Wrathall, Neal and Shedden to get past him, and Jackson ran into the back of Chilton – who had run into the back of Shedden – into the hairpin which damaged the Airwaves Focus severely enough to result in a third retirement of the day.
Jackon slips to third in the championship as a result on 159 points, while a fantastic weekend for Honda sees Shedden now leading the championship on 182 points, a single point ahead of Neal on 181.
Race three results:
1. Gordon Shedden Honda 25m41.710s
2. Matt Neal Honda + 0.804s
3. Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota + 1.126s
4. Tom Chilton Arena Ford + 2.797s
5. Rob Collard WSR BMW + 2.865s
6. Tom Boardman Special Tuning SEAT + 4.629s
7. Jason Plato Chevrolet + 8.557s
8. James Nash Triple 8 Vauxhall + 9.217s
9. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Vauxhall + 10.153s
10. Nick Foster WSR BMW + 13.033s
11. Tom Onslow-Cole Arena Ford + 14.559s
12. Dave Newsham Special Tuning SEAT + 16.152s
13. Aron Smith Triple 8 Vauxhall + 16.505s
14. Paul O’Neill Tech-Speed Chevrolet + 16.874s
15. Andy Neate Arena Ford + 18.867s
16. Daniel Welch Welch Proton + 19.151s
17. Chris James ES Chevrolet + 35.449s
18. Jeff Smith Eurotech Vauxhall + 46.021s
DNF Alex MacDowall Chevrolet 23 laps
DNF Rob Austin Rob Austin Audi 20 laps
DNF John George Tech-Speed Chevrolet 19 laps
DNF Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford 11 laps
DNF Martin Byford AmD VW 9 laps
DNF Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 7 laps
Championship standings after round 7: