Dave Newsham took advantage of the reverse grid draw to take his second win of the season at his home circuit of Knockhill in Round 21 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
The Inverness born driver took a lights to flag victory ahead of Pirtek Racings Jeff Smith and the new championship leader Matt Neal. Fellow championship contenders Gordon Shedden and Jason Plato failed to finish, the latter not even taking the start due to turbo boost problems compounding what turned out to be a woeful weekend for the KX Momentum Racing driver.
A light shower before the race made for greasy track conditions but the Team ES Racing driver ensured his Vauxhall Vectra was leading into the first corner and from then he managed to extend a gap to the chasing pack. Jeff Smith took his first podium of the season although it was a close affair with the Honda Yuasa Racing driver Matt Neal hounding him to the line. Neal had several lunges around the tight twisty circuit but Smith drove a smart race closing the door when necessary to stop Neal from squeezing through. Finishing fourth and waiting to take advantage of anything in front of him was Smiths team mate Andrew Jordan.
After two second place finishes, Tom Onslow-Cole drove a hard fought race to finish fifth after surviving the drama on lap six. Aron Smith had been in fifth but a bold move from the eBay BMW of Nick Foster sent the WSR man onto two wheels and the Redstone Racing Focus sideways. In the middle of the drama Gordon Shedden took to the grass to avoid Foster and Smith thus filling his radiator with grass which subsequently forced the Scotsman to retire. Paul O’Neill capped a magnificent return to the championship with a sixth place in his Toyota Avensis with the recovering Nick Foster and Aron Smith seventh and eighth. The double winner from earlier in the day Rob Collard took ninth and finishing tenth was the NGTC Ford Focus of Mat Jackson.
The championship lead of Matt Neal’s is currently at ten points as he sits on 287 points with his Honda Yuasa team mate Gordon Shedden on 277 points. Jason Plato had come into the event on ten points behind the top two but now leaves Knockhill 38 points behind as he has 251 points. Andrew Jordan closed to Plato in the championship standing as he now has 247 points. Finally Rob Collards weekend has done his championship aspirations no trouble by sitting fifth in the standings with 228 points.
The BTCC circus now takes a four week break before resuming at the fast paced Rockingham circuit on the weekend of 22/23 September.