Gordon Shedden was a dominant winner in today’s second wet Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race at Thruxton.
Shedden started from sixth on the grid but, after two opening laps on a sodden circuit behind the safety car, he then swiftly picked off those ahead to secure his third win of the season. He also set the race’s fastest lap in his Honda Yuasa Racing Team Civic.
Jason Plato was second in his MG KX Momentum Racing MG6 after passing Mat Jackson, who’d led the race’s early stages in his Redstone Racing Ford Focus, into the chicane. Jackson, today’s first race winner, was this time struggling for grip in the closing stages and he only just finished in third ahead of the fast-closing Frank Wrathall’s Dynojet Toyota Avensis.
Fife racer Shedden commented: “Having lost a potential pole position yesterday in qualifying, to bounce back with sixth in race one and now a win is just what we needed. The Civic’s chassis was just awesome around the back of the circuit which is where I made up so much time on the others and, had I been on pole for race one, then who knows… maybe we’d be celebrating two wins.”
Championship leader Plato added: “The conditions this time weren’t as bad as in race one but there was no stopping Gordon in that one. In these conditions it’s important just to get to the end and second place is still a big chunk of points.”
And said Jackson: “The tyres at the end of that one were finished – the NGTC cars like the Honda and MG have the bigger 18-inch tyre and there was no answer to them in those conditions. I had to drive a really defensive line on that last lap to stop Wrathall getting past. Another lap and I don’t think I’d have been able to hang on…”
Significantly, Plato has increased his overall advantage at the top of the table but it is Shedden who has now emerged as his closest challenger ahead of Jackson and reigning Champion Matt Neal who are tied for third.
Having started from tenth Shedden’s team-mate Neal, who lost time when he accidentally cut his car's ignition trying to re-set his failing windscreen wipers (!), took fifth ahead of Dave Newsham who had run as high as second early on in his Team ES Racing.com Vauxhall Vectra.
Robert Collard (eBay Motors BMW) and Jackson’s team-mate Aron Smith, again scoring strongly, took seventh and eighth. But the race’s most exciting battle was for ninth, eventually taken by Tony Gilham’s Team HARD. Honda Civic which will start today's third race from pole position.
He was just ahead of Andrew Jordan’s Pirtek Racing Honda Civic which had battled through from the back of the grid. Pirtek’s Jeff Smith took 11th ahead of Lea Wood’s BINZ Racing Vauxhall Vectra and Tom Onslow-Cole’s eBay Motors BMW. Both had been ahead of Gilham until the closing stages before being shuffled down the order…
Newsham’s team-mate Chris James might also have finished in among this lot but slid straight on into a barrier while defending his place from Jordan and retired with front-end damage to his car further around the lap.