BTCC Brands Hatch 3: Turkington triumphs in thriller

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Fabrizio Giovanardi, Colin Turkington, John George, BTCC Brands Hatch | TOCAIt stayed dry for the third race of the day at Brands Hatch but it produced perhaps the most exciting race of them all.

Fabrizio Giovanardi looked in with a chance of taking a hat-trick of victories until he collided dramatically with Mike Jordan.

Meanwhile Jason Plato clawed his way into the points to keep a narrow lead in the drivers’ championship.

The top six from the second race would be reversed to form the grid for the third, putting Adam Jones on pole position ahead of Mike Jordan and Gordon Sheddon. Championship rivals Jason Plato and Fabrizio Gionvanardi started fourth and fifth, after Mat Jackson was given a penalty for his race one crash and dropped to 16th.

Plato and Giovanardi both made good starts but the Italian got to the inside of Paddock and moved up to second – while Plato, hung out on the outside by Gordon Sheddon, fell back down the field.

The first lap finished with Mike Jordan leading Giovanardi, Colin Turkington up from the fourth row, and Jackson a stunning fourth. Pole sitter Jones fell to fifth ahead of Sheddon and Plato.

Whatever Plato tried, it just got worse. Gavin Smith nipped past him and then he found himself fighting with Tom Chilton. The battling pair then lost places to Tom Onslow-Cole and Matt Allison. At this rate the championship leader was going to score nothing. He began fighting back by shrugging off Chilton and taking his place back from Allison.

At the front Jordan, Giovanardi and Turkington were locked in a tight battle for the lead. Turkington got a run on Giovanardi into Paddock and the Italian braked too late, hitting Jordan. The pair skidded sideways down Paddock Hill but Giovanardi somehow caught the car – twice – and carried on in fourth.

That left Turkington in the lead from Jackson with Sheddon now third ahead of Giovanardi. Jones, Smith and Onslow-Cole were between the Italian and eighth placed Plato.

Onslow-Cole scrambled past Smith on lap 15 and now began a thrilling fight with Jones. He twice overhauled the Team Air Cool car only for Jones to re-pass him.

It had to end in tears and it finally did on lap 24. Jones lunged down the inside of Onslow-Cole at Graham Hill bend and the two made contact, Jones’s car firing off sideways, narrowly missing Plato and hitting Darren Turner instead.

This lucky escape promoted Plato into fifth – right behind Giovanardi once again.

Turkington romped home to his third win of the year (fourth if you include his disqualification at Snetterton) while Sheddon passed Jackson for second in the dying stages.

Giovanardi and Plato each had their own eventful races and finished in the position the other had started in, with Onslow-Cole sixth ahead of Smith and the recovered Jordan.

After finishing behind Giovanardi in all three races Plato’s lead has been cut from 14 points to four with six races remaining. Sheddon moves up into third at the expense of Matt Neal, whose crash in the first race put him out of action for the day.


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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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