Gordon Shedden grabs victory at Brands Hatch
Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Gordon Shedden grabbed victory in a frenetic second BTCC encounter at Brands Hatch after a series of incidents interrupted proceedings.
An aborted start due to a problem for pole-sitter Tom Ingram was followed by an accident at the restart, as Jason Plato’s Subaru Levorg was turned into the pitwall off the line. Heavy contact left the double champion’s Japanese machine stricken on-track in a dangerous position, forcing officials to red flag the contest.
Eventually it was lights out for a reduced 20-lap race, as Ingram comfortably led the way from Shedden’s Honda. The ballast-laden Toyota Avensis couldn’t hang on however, as Shedden slipped by at Paddock Hill Bend on the second tour.
Battles behind involved Rob Austin, Andrew Jordan, Rob Collard and Adam Morgan as the quartet nudged eachother around 1.27-mile Indy circuit.
The young trio of Michael Epps, Ashley Sutton and Josh Cook were also scrapping in the lower half of the top ten, with contact eventually sending Sutton’s Subaru skipping across the gravel at the exit of Clearways. Contact at the same corner between Dan Lloyd, Luke Davenport and Any Whorton-Eales left the latter’s AmD Audi S3 beached.
A brief spell behind the safety car followed and it was all to play for once again for the final ten laps.
Shedden seemingly had things sewn up, and his place was further cemented as Collard hauled his BMW on to the rear of Ingram’s Toyota. The experienced Collard nudged Ingram through Paddock Hill on lap 20 and eventually made the move stick on the run downhill. There was little time for him to make inroads into Shedden’s advantage, however, and that’s how the lead trio remained until the chequered flag fell.
“That was a very bizarre race, with the re-start and everything,” said race-winner Shedden. “To win with 66kg in the car is really special. Weirdly, the car probably felt better there than it did in the first race without any weight, so we’re clearly going in the right direction. Rob [Collard] was coming on strong at the end, with a fair chunk less weight than I had – I’m glad it was over when it was over really. That was long enough!”
“I was so relieved that the race was red-flagged early on, because [Rob] Austin had tipped me into a spin at Druids and I was nowhere – virtually last,” responded Collard. “A good re-start was crucial for me, and after that we picked them off one by one. Andrew [Jordan] worked well with me when it was clear that I was quicker, and to get Tom [Ingram] at the end was brilliant. The BMW felt amazing throughout.”
Fourth wasn’t so straight forward as Austin’s Handy Motorsport Toyota got into the back of Jordan’s BMW at Clearways. This allowed Morgan’s Mercedes to also follow through, as the Pirtek Racing BMW re-found its footing. Jordan was able to close the door on Mat Jackson’s Ford Focus, initially, but he would also lose sixth place across the finish line by just 0.015s.
There was a change to the order post-race, however, as Austin was excluded from the result. This was due to his part in the Jordan incident taking place under yellow flag conditions, which bumped everyone else up the order.
Josh Cook, Tom Chilton and Colin Turkington rounded were next up in the final classification, with the latter completing a stellar comeback drive with a last gasp move by Michael Epps’ VW. It was Chilton celebrating after the reverse grid draw and Austin’s penalty, however, as the Power Maxed Racing car was chosen at random to take pole position in this afternoon’s final race.
2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 2 – Brands Hatch (Indy):
1 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing 23 laps
2 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +0.870s
3 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +2.657s
4 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +4.565s
5 Mat JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +5.125s
6 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +5.140s
7 Josh COOK (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +8.013s
8 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +8.197s
9 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +9.441s
10 Michael EPPS (GBR) Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing +9.492s
11 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +9.672s
12 Jack GOFF (GBR) Eurotech Racing +10.260s
13 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +10.488s
14 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts +11.265s
15 Aron TAYLOR-SMITH (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +12.741s
16 Jeff SMITH (GBR) Eurotech Racing +13.002s
17 Dave NEWSHAM (IRL) BTC Norlin Racing +14.025s
18 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +14.916s
19 Jake HILL (GBR) TAG Racing +17.857s
20 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +18.084s
21 James COLE (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +18.450s
22 Will BURNS (GBR) Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing +20.479s
23 Daniel LLOYD (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +1 lap
24 Josh PRICE (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +3 laps
DNF Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +5 laps
DNF Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +5 laps
DNF Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +6 laps
DNF Luke DAVENPORT (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +14 laps
DNF Ant WHORTON-EALES (GBR) AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts +14 laps
DNF Martin DEPPER (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +23 laps
DNF Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +23 laps
EXC Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport