My laptop died during the second Brands Hatch race so here are my delayed thoughts on the other two BTCC rounds.
I spoke to Fabrizio Giovanardi before the second race and asked him if he was worried about keeping the BMWs behind him at the start. He said not, and that his problem at the first start had been wheelspin.
Sure enough, he kept Mat Jackson behind at the start of the second race and scored a cool win. Jackson fell to fourth after he failed to make a good restart following the safety car.
The top nine were reversed for the second race, putting Mike Jordan’s Honda Integra on pole position ahead of Colin Turkington’s BMW, the Northern Irishman having fought through the field to eighth in the second race.
Turkington sprinted ahead at the start and Jackson vaulted from fifth to second until Jordan knocked him wide at Druids – but the BMW driver recovered to take up pursuit of Turkington.
There was carnage behind them, however. Darren Turner was knocked off at Druids and his team mate Jason Plato got tangled up with Gordon Sheddon’s Honda Civic, which in turned fired Tom Onslow-Cole’s Vauxhall Vectra into the wall along the Cooper straight.
That led to a lengthy safety car period but Jackson made a much better start and hounded Turkington to the flag. Giovanardi struggled to make progress with a fat lump of success ballast on board and finished sixth behind Plato.
So Giovanardi leads the championship with 37 points to Jackson’s 35, and Plato is third on 26. But Jackson said he though he had a car that could he challenge for the championship with and Plato’s diesel Leon looks quick in a straight line – all of which will give the champion plenty to think about before the next round at Rockingham on April 13th.