Shedden puts rivals in the shade with race two win
Honda Yuasa Racing’s Gordon Shedden claimed a dominant race two victory at Rockingham to extend his lead in the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship to 20 points. With an 11 point deficit to Jason Plato and a grid penalty to contend with before today’s opening contest, few could have predicted the sensational turnaround that the Scotsman would produce in races one and two.
The Civic Type R driver made a textbook getaway in the second encounter and was more than three seconds up the road before his challengers could even come close to matching his lap times. By that point the damage was already done and the 2012 champion streaked away to his fourth victory of the season.
“It just goes to show how quickly it can all change,” beamed Shedden. “I’m really thankful for the two results but we’ve still got one to go today and I’m sure it will keep twisting and turning all the way until the end of the season.”
It was roles reversed between Shedden and Mat Jackson in race two, as the latter followed up his earlier victory with an impressive second place. Jackson enjoyed a relatively lonely race but his Motorbase Performance squad will have been delighted to see how the Ford Focus ran with maximum success ballast on-board for the first time.
“Second with 75kgs is a great result,” said Jackson. “The car stood up to it and we were reasonably close to Gordon. We came here to get podiums and wins and that’s what we’ve done. It has been a brilliant job by the team and we’re learning more all the time.”
The fight for third was far from routine as front row starter Adam Morgan fell back into the clutches of a rampant Josh Cook. The Power Maxed Racing driver started the race from 14th but was quickly up to ninth after a storming start. The Chevrolet Cruze continued its ascent through the order with a further eye-catching pass on the Eurotech Honda of Jeff Smith. Cook was equally comfortable in esteemed company as he saw off reigning champion Colin Turkington with a slick move on lap eight.
With the fading MG of Jack Goff also now out of the way Cook set about attacking Morgan for the final step on the rostrum. The Cruze closed down the A-Class at an impressive rate and launched its assault on the penultimate lap. Morgan defended well at Tarzan but when Cook tried again at the same place on the final tour, he managed to tuck his car down the inside of the WIX Racing machine before blasting across the line to the rapturous delight of his Power Maxed Racing squad.
“The car has performed really well,” enthused Cook. “It’s really special to get our first podium, and to do it in race two, on true pace, is fantastic.”
Matt Neal made several tidy moves as the Civic Type R man quietly made his way up to fifth place, improving his championship chances in the process. Exocet Racing’s Rob Austin took sixth ahead of an impressive drive by Plato.
The Team BMR RCIB Insurance racer had to recover from a sticky start and an early bump from Andrew Jordan’s MG, but he did so in style with some breathtaking manouvres through the order. Running in ninth until late on the #99 VW scythed down the inside of both Goff and Turkington with a delightful double move.
Tom Ingram’s Toyota rounded out the top ten and the young talent has a chance to complete one of his best ever BTCC weekends as he’ll start the final reversed grid race from pole position.
2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 22 – Rockingham:
- Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Honda Yuasa Racing
- Mat JACKSON (GBR) Motorbase Performance
- Josh COOK (R) (GBR) Power Maxed Racing
- Adam MORGAN (GBR) WIX Racing
- Matt NEAL (GBR) Honda Yuasa Racing
- Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Exocet AlcoSense
- Jason PLATO (GBR) Team BMR RCIB Insurance
- Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMR RCIB Insurance
- Jack GOFF (GBR) MG 888 Racing
- Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport
- Aron SMITH (IRL) Team BMR RCIB Insurance
- Andrew JORDAN (GBR) MG 888 Racing
- Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing
- Sam TORDOFF (GBR) JCT600 Racing with GardX
- Jeff SMITH (GBR) Eurotech Racing
- Nick FOSTER (GBR) Team IHG Rewards Club
- James COLE (GBR) Motorbase Performance
- Martin DEPPER (GBR) Eurotech Racing
- Daniel WELCH (GBR) Welch Motorsport
- Warren SCOTT (GBR) Team BMR RCIB Insurance
- Mike BUSHELL (R) (GBR) AmD Tuning.com
- Robb HOLLAND (USA) Handy Motorsport
- Hunter ABBOTT (GBR) Exocet AlcoSense
- Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) AmD Tuning.com
- Derek P ALMER (R) (GBR) Support Our Paras Racing
- Alex MARTIN (R) (GBR) Dextra Racing
- Stewart LINES (R) (GBR) Houseman Racing
- Robert COLLARD (GBR) JCT600 Racing with GardX
DNF Dave NEWSHAM (GBR) Power Maxed Racing