Tom Boardman has achieved his first race win in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship in the third of Sunday’s races at Knockhill, albeit in controversial circumstances.
Boardman took the lead after his Special Tuning SEAT Leon made contact with early leader Jason Plato’s Silverline Chevrolet Cruze at Leslie’s corner which resulted in the latter crashing out.
From there Preston racer Boardman held off Robert Collard’s WSR BMW to achieve the first BTCC race win of his career. Frank Wrathall, also from Preston, repeated his historic race two result with another third place in his Dynojet team’s NGTC-spec Toyota Avensis.
An ecstatic Boardman commented: "Amazing, amazing. We've been in strong positions before only for it to go wrong but finally it has all come good. I'm sorry Jason went out like that because it had been a really close fight between us up until then. Rob put me under some pressure but the car just had enough to keep him out of arm's reach. There's going to be some celebration tonight!"
Hampshireman Collard added: "We didn't think we'd have a chance at Knockhill but we've actually had a really competitive day. I really wanted that win but Tom deserved it. I really applied the pressure but he just didn't crack."
And added Wrathall: "Wow, what a day. Fourth and then a pair of thirds. These are just brilliant results for us when you consider where we were at the start of the season. There's more to come, too. I can't wait for the rest of the season."
Fourth and fifth were the Honda Racing Team drivers Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden and sixth, having held third spot early on before running wide at Scotsman, Tom Chilton in his Team Aon Ford Focus.
The result means Shedden leaves his home circuit the new leader of the championship but by just a single point from team-mate Neal.
Mat Jackson, who arrived at Knockhill leading the standings, has now slumped to a distant third after disbelievingly retiring from all three races today. In race three he had come through from 24th on the grid to seventh only for his Airwaves Focus to stop with front-end damage after making contact with Chilton’s car.
Incredibly, he still leads the Independents Trophy but by the much-reduced margin of five points from 888 Racing/Collins Vauxhall Vectra driver James Nash who also suffered a nightmare third race – he needed to pit for repairs to his car after it had been inadvertently collected by rookie team-mate Aron Smith as the pack concertinaed just prior to a re-start following a safety car period. That also enabled Jackson’s Airwaves squad to cling on to a one-point lead in the Independent Teams Trophy from 888/Collins.
Andrew Jordan finished the race in seventh in his Pirtek Vectra just ahead of the chasing trio of Tom Onslow-Cole (Aon Ford), Nick Foster (WSR BMW) and Alex MacDowall (Silverline Chevrolet).