Title pendulum set to swing once again
Mathematically there are still 11 drivers that all have a chance of becoming 2015 drivers’ champion however it now realistically looks like the battle is down to both Honda Yuasa Racing drivers and a pair of Team BMR Volkswagen’s.
Moving to the points summit at Rockingham, Gordon Shedden has four wins to his name and is arguably driving better than ever. Clinching the title in 2012, the Civic Type R pilot holds a slender six-point advantage over double champion Jason Plato. The two have been nip and tuck all season-long and with the pendulum having swung back and forth, it is anyone’s guess who will prevail. Plato can arguably be titled the king of Silverstone with six wins from the last nine races and like Shedden, driving better than ever.
Whilst Silverstone in the past hasn’t always suited the Honda’s, a change in regulations and new engine for the season should see both the Scotsman and team mate Matt Neal challenging from the outset. The Volkswagen CC should arguably perform better than it ever has done this year due to how aerodynamically efficient it is and with defending champion Colin Turkington also residing fourth in the standings, team orders and personal glory will be called into question in every race.
Sitting on the fringe of the top four is MG Triple Eight Racing’s Andrew Jordan. Yet to win a race; four podiums and consistency leaves the 2013 champion 46 points from the top of the standings and although it is possible, the Red Bull athlete has already ruled himself out of contention. The BMW’s of Sam Tordoff and Andy Priaulx along with the Mercedes of Adam Morgan have all won races at some stage this season but all look too far behind at this stage to impact the result at the top.
Expect all of the above and plenty more looking to not only round out their season’s on a high but look to impress as one eye starts to slowly be cast on next year.
Jackson set to mix it up again
Since returning to the fray at Snetterton, Motorbase Performance and Mat Jackson have proved to be a constant threat towards the sharp end of the grid. Taking a brace of podiums at Knockhill, Jackson went one better at Rockingham earlier this month as he claimed the teams first ever pole position and then went on to clinch victory.
With the Mountune-prepared EcoBoost engine proving to be a success, the National 1.64 mile layout at Silverstone should be well-suited to Jackson and team mate James Cole – bringing into question how much of an impact will the duo have on the championship protagonists as battle commences.
Yet again proving to be the man to beat around Silverstone, Jason Plato wracked up another pole position and then went on to do battle with eventual champion Colin Turkington in races one and two, prevailing on both occasions.
Mat Jackson rounded out what was a frenetic day’s racing with a victory under the Airwaves Racing banner whilst former double champion and Team BMR driver Alain Menu claimed a second podium on his return to the series.
PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Sayle Photography