Victory in front of his home crowd for Gordon Shedden in the second of today’s three Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races at Knockhill has moved him into the series lead.
Tom Chilton, winner of this morning’s first race, led from pole position in his Aon Ford Focus but after a safety car period – to retrieve Martin Byford’s crashed AmD Milltek Racing.com VW Golf at the hairpin – he came under increasing pressure from Honda Racing duo Matt Neal and Shedden.
Chilton, his car now laden with the maximum 45kgs of success ballast and seemingly struggling for grip, then survived two lurid slides at Clark’s corner. The second of these two moments cost him momentum and both Neal and Shedden surged past on the following straight towards the hairpin. The lurking Frank Wrathall was also quick to pounce and his Dynojet Toyota Avensis passed the unsettled Chilton just a few corners later for third.
Up front, Shedden then took advantage of a tiny error by Neal exiting the chicane to move past under braking for the approaching Clark’s and, from there, drew clear for a famous win on home ground. Neal took second ahead of Wrathall and Chilton. Wrathall’s third place made a small piece of history, for it marked the first outright podium result for a car built to the BTCC’s latest Next Generation Touring Car technical regulations.
Meanwhile the result has moved Shedden three points clear of Neal in the title race. Nearest rival Mat Jackson suffered his second retirement of the day – moving through from the back of the grid and having just set the race’s fastest lap, a front wheel on his Airwaves Ford Focus broke and he ran off the track, inflicting heavy front-end damage to his car.
Dalgety Bay’s Shedden commented: “It’s the dream result, to win at Knockhill. I bided my time there and Matt made the tiniest of errors but it was just enough for me to go through. The crowd around here… you can start to sense them even though you’re right in the thick of a battle. It just feels fantastic.”
Neal added: “I think the faster guy won that one, plus having Wrathall behind me meant I had to concentrate on my mirrors. Congratulations to Gordon and the team – another 1-2 for them is perfect.”
Wrathall said: “That feels fantastic. I was slightly tempted to have a go at Neal but not at any risk. Third place and maximum points in the Independents Trophy were the priority.”
Finishing fifth, having briefly nosed ahead of Chilton twice in the closing stages, was Robert Collard in his WSR BMW. Tom Boardman was a strong sixth in his Special Tuning SEAT Leon ahead of Jason Plato who took seventh in his Silverline Chevrolet Cruze after outfoxing James Nash, eighth in his 888/Collins Contractors Vauxhall Vectra. Fellow Vectra driver, Pirtek’s Andrew Jordan, and Collard’s team-mate Nick Foster completed the top ten – the latter after Nash and Chilton’s respective team-mates Aron Smith and Tom Onslow-Cole had clashed and lost ground while disputing the spot.Click here for the Tom Chilton web site - designed and built by Racecar