Gordon Shedden leads home Honda one-two
Halfords Yuasa Racing scored its first one-two of the new BTCC season as reigning champion Gordon Shedden led home team-mate Matt Neal in the second contest at Brands Hatch.
Pole-sitter and race one winner Tom Ingram endured a torrid time after contact with Rob Collard’s BMW sent both cars out of contention.
Ingram’s Toyota maintained the lead off the line while West Surrey Racing’s Collard blitzed from sixth on the grid into second before the 32-cars reached Paddock Hill Bend for the first time.
Collard immediately set about attacking Ingram for the lead and the duo touched at Paddock on the second tour before more violent contact at Druids sent the BMW into a spin. Ingram continued in the lead for half a lap but then slowed with damage, which was caused as a result of the incident with Collard.
Honda inherited the top two positions and never looked back following a short spell behind the safety car, but the final place on the podium did change as the race progressed.
Aron Smith had already hauled his VW from seventh into fourth, but the Irishman was determined to reach the rostrum. He made his move on Josh Cook’s MG on lap six and was then able to pull away from the gaggle of cars behind.
The soft Dunlop tyre shod Ford Focus of Andrew Jordan came out on top of that particular battle as he took fourth after a squabble with Cook’s MG. Jordan’s move also helped his team-mate Mat Jackson, as the Duo-backed Focus slipped by while Sutton was busy regaining his composure.
MG’s efforts worsened when oil was spilt at Graham Hill Bend in the closing moments. Cook’s car slid onto the grass, as did Cook’s, with the likes of Colin Turkington and Mat Jackson following suit.
Some recovered from the incident, some didn’t, but it was Jackson who eventually took fifth from Sutton. Goff held on from Adam Morgan’s Mercedes, whilst Sam Tordoff took an impressive ninth. The Yorkshireman had to respond following a frustrating opening race when contact with Collard sent him tumbling down the order. Starting 16th in race two, Tordoff made solid progress throughout to eventually finish ahead of Jeff Smith, with the latter rounding out the top ten. Jake Hill was cruelly robbed of a tenth place finish when his Team HARD car limped out of the race with a suspected fuel pressure sensor issue.
Tordoff’s joy was further heightened after the race when #9 was picked at random in the reverse grid draw, meaning the Team JCT600 with GardX car will start race three from pole position.
Adam Moffat’s Mercedes was 11th while Dan Welch is enjoying his best day in the BTCC for nearly three years, backing up his race one points finish with another in the second bout.
Jason Plato scored the first ever points for Subaru in 13th, with Rob Austin’s Toyota and Hunter Abbott’s Chevrolet completing the scoring order.
Gordon Shedden said: “It all got a bit congested early on, and I thought I was going to get collected at one point when Ingram and Collard came together. Fortunately, I managed to avoid it all and then made my best plan to escape. I think my car was actually slightly better with the ballast on-board, which wasn’t at all what we had expected, but it’s fantastic to come away with a one-two finish for myself and Matt with the Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R.”
Matt Neal said: “Two races and two podiums – it doesn’t get much better than that! I’m over the moon – dead chuffed with the day so far. The race got a bit sketchy at times; ‘Flash’ and I were settled in third and fourth when it all kicked off ahead of us between Ingram and Collard, and then there was oil down on the track at Graham Hill Bend later on. We both called into the pits almost simultaneously saying we had a puncture, but thankfully, that obviously turned out not to be the case.”
Jeff Smith said: “This one’s for the team. Hats off to the whole BKR crew – they’ve been unbelievable. To think that three weeks ago we weren’t even racing here, to be back on the grid and back on the podium almost straight away is incredible.”
Race three will take place at 17:10 and you can see all of the action live and exclusively on ITV4.
2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 2 – Brands Hatch Indy:
1 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing (26 laps) 22m 27.048s
2 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.848s
3 Aron SMITH (IRL) BKR +3.132s
4 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) Motorbase Performance +4.165s
5 Mat JACKSON (GBR) Motorbase Performance +7.176s
6 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +8.647s
7 Jack GOFF (GBR) Team IHG Rewards Club +9.682s
8 Adam MORGAN (GBR) WIX Racing +10.076s
9 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team JCT600 Racing with GardX +10.395s
10 Jeff SMITH (GBR) Eurotech Racing +10.588s
11 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +11.829s
12 Daniel WELCH (GBR) Goodstone Racing +17.276s
13 Jason PLATO (GBR) Subaru Team BMR +18.462s
14 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +18.738s
15 Hunter ABBOTT (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +19.036s
16 Robert COLLARD (GBR) Team JCT600 Racing with GardX +20.873s
17 Michael EPPS (GBR) RCIB Insurance Racing +21.303s
18 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +23.468s
19 James COLE (GBR) Subaru Team BMR +23.840s
20 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Subaru Team BMR +24.678s
21 Warren SCOTT (GBR) Subaru Team BMR +29.454s
22 Martin DEPPER (GBR) Eurotech Racing +30.440s
23 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) AmD Tuning +30.865s
24 Alex MARTIN (GBR) Dextra Racing +35.224s
25 Kelvin FLETCHER (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +37.381s
26 Andy NEATE (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +40.840s
27 Mark HOWARD (GBR) BKR +45.944s
28 Chris SMILEY (GBR) TLC Racing +2 laps
29 Josh COOK (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +4 laps
30 Jake HILL (GBR) RCIB Insurance Racing +12 laps
31 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +24 laps
32 Stewart LINES (GBR) Maximum Motorsport +24 laps
Click here for the final classification.