VICTORY WIN FOR TORDOFF
With Sam Tordoff taking his first victory of his BTCC career at Snetterton in race one, however the Hondas came back strong and Andrew Jordan and Gordon Shedden took the wins in races 2 and 3.
The Audis of Rob Austin scored points in all three races and on a couple of occasions showed that they were back to running at the front pace.
In Free Practice 1, Austin although in the top ten, a mistake in qualifying put paid to that position on the grid. Race 1 saw the car suffer over heating problems which drained power and dropped them down the points board, while race 2 saw Austin putting in a good pace but contact with the Pritek Driver Jeff Smith put paid to better results, this must have left Austin disappointed as this is not the first time the two of them have locked horns.
A ferocious battle with Tom Onslow-Cole in race 3, which would have been worthy of the race leaders and coming from 14th place in the reverse grid to sixth and then forth Austin sadly made a rookie error and span out dropping him back down and crossing the line in 12th place.
‘It was a shame as we were just entering the phase of the race when it starts coming to the rear wheel-drive cars like the Audi, with their better tyre management and in the last part of the race I don’t think anyone was lapping quicker than me. Retaining forth or maybe even challenging for a podium result was on the cards but I cocked up and it was back to 12th’.
All this for Austin and after suffering an ‘alleged’ shark attack whilst on holiday. “I’d come off the water skies and was climbing back into the boat when this shark came from out of nowhere, it clearly took a liking to me as it decided to give me a love bite. I somehow fought it off with my bare hands, like Tarzan.” “There was blood everywhere but I still got the boat back to shore, dragged myself into my hotel and found one of those complimentary sewing kits and patched myself up. A couple of Jack Daniels helped get me through the pain”
Well even Austin’s team members where keeping schtum about the real reasons for Austin’s injury but I suppose a touch of Arnold Schwarzenegger beating up a shark with his bare hands makes for entertaining reading and a more colourful reason for what might have really happened!
As for the rest of the drivers, Tordoff took his maiden win with a lights to flag finish in race 1, followed in by his team mate Plato taking 2nd with Shedden just making third after a late challenge with both Turkington and Jordan.
Race two was action packed with Jordan taking the win although making contact with Turkington late in the race, Matt Neal stormed from 9th on the grid to take second place, and the Ford Focus of Aron Smith showing more improvements coming in 3rd. Plato had lead early on but his car came to a halt with engine problems.
Race 3 got dramatically worse for Plato, whilst fighting his way through in the opening laps, his MG spun out wildly going down to Hamilton before hitting the barrier at speed which flipped his car in a hair raising barrel roll. Fortunately Plato walked away unharmed.
Drama carried on as Shedden chased Turkington for the lead, it appeared that Shedden, ‘nudged’ Turkington causing him to spin and drop down the order as Shedden shot through to a comfortable win.
And as for Austin’s ‘The One That Got Away’ well I’m sure we will see a few ‘sharks’ at Knockhill.