How the season unfolded: Thruxton
By the time the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship rolled onto the third event of the season at Thruxton, there had already been a heavy smattering of the trademark unpredictability of the BTCC on show, with five different race winners in the opening six rounds.
Both the Teams and Drivers Championships were yet to settle down into a pattern, though after another event where the spoils were shared, Gordon Shedden left Hampshire top of the pile while Team BMR still held their advantage in the Teams’ running.
Honda Yuasa Racing headed home the pack in race one with a dazzling Shedden-Neal one-two. Thruxton had historically been a happy hunting ground for the Japanese manufacturer, having won there using three different models of car over the years and their good run continued into 2015.
Shedden rocketed past pole-sitter Aron Smith in the Team BMR VW off the line and never looked back. Team-mate Matt Neal slipped through just afterwards. The Hondas could not be caught and Adam Morgan claimed another impressive podium ahead of Jason Plato in fourth.
Following the Honda masterclass in race one, race two was a different story. Plato came out on top of a classic tin-top to and fro with West Surrey Racing’s Rob Collard. Having initially lost out to the rear-wheel drive BMW, the two-time champion made up ground in time to make his move at the end of lap two.
The battle didn’t end there as the duo traded blows – Collard hounding the black VW, fighting tooth and nail lap after lap. Plato’s expert defensive driving was enough to fend off Collard’s every move, though, and he held on to record his 90th win in the series. Shedden completed the podium – another consistent points haul towards his championship effort.
Adam Morgan then took the honours in race three with a super second BTCC victory. The WIX Racing man started from pole and was the class of the field – three seconds to the good at half race distance. A brief safety car period eroded that advantage but the Lancastrian held his nerve for the win.
Andrew Jordan scored a second place finish, continuing his consistent start to the season – similar form to that which took him to the title back in 2013 and Sam Tordoff earned his first podium since making the switch to WSR.
Honda Yuasa Racing made the most they could have expected to make from race three, as Shedden and Neal made their way up the order to fifth and sixth respectively.
Five former BTCC champions held the top five positions in what was already an enthralling push for the 2015 Drivers Championship, with Shedden leading the way – up from third at the end of the Donington Park weekend. Turkington, Neal, Plato and Jordan followed closely behind.
It was relative status quo in the Teams Championship, with BMR still leading Honda and MG Triple Eight Racing.
BTCC Drivers Championship:
- Gordon Shedden, 114
- Colin Turkington, 106
- Matt Neal, 103
- Jason Plato, 102
- Andrew Jordan, 99
- Adam Morgan, 98
HiQ Teams Championship:
- Team BMR, 229
- Honda Yuasa Racing, 213
- MG 888 Racing, 181
- Team JCT600 with GardX, 146
- WIX Racing, 98
- Power Maxed Racing, 76