Shedden Wins Thus Taking Championship Lead
Submitted on September 23rd 2012 18:15 by Chris Ashby.
Honda Yuasa Racing driver Gordon Shedden powered to a second victory of the day in round 24 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Rockingham to become the new championship leader with six races remaining.
Shedden battled through a race full of full and half spins to repeat the result of race with a Honda 1-2. The beneficiary of the reverse grid draw was Adam Morgan and the Speedworks driver made a brilliant start to lead into the first few corners only to lose the back end at turn three and slide off onto the grass. From then Aron Smith drove a mature race to hold off the title protagonist for over half the distance. Shedden almost didn’t make it past lap two when the Scot had a massive slide going into turn one but somehow managed to save it and only lose a couple of positions. However Pirtek Racing’s Jeff Smith wasn’t so lucky and crashed hard into the wall at turn one causing substantial damage to his Civic and also bringing out the safety car.
After several laps behind the safety car Aron Smith wasn’t given any breathing space with Matt Neal, Jason Plato and Gordon Shedden crawling all over the back of his S2000 Ford Focus. Shedden was the first to start making movements by getting past Plato and over the next few laps Neal dived down the inside of Smith at Tarzans with Shedden hot on their heels. Smith soon dropped back into the clutches of Shedden and Plato who soon sneaked past. Even with 45kgs on board Shedden was on fire and took the lead on lap 14 at the dean hairpin to go on to claim victory. Matt Neal held on to finish second although late pressure from Plato made it a close finish.
Recovering from a poor result in race 2, Andrew Jordan claimed a fourth place to keep him in the hunt for the outright title whilst extending his lead in the Independents championship. Aron Smith was fifth with his team mate Mat Jackson claiming sixth. Tom Onslow-Cole finished strong seventh with Ollie Jackson in eight. Rounding out the top ten was Nick Foster and Rob Austin.
With just six races left in the 2012 season Gordon Shedden sits on 336 points with a 3 point gap over his team mate Matt Neal who is on 333 points. MG KX Momentum driver Jason Plato is a further 32 points adrift on 304 and the man still with an outside chance of the title, Andrew Jordan, on 287 points thus 49 points adrift.
The next round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship takes place in two weeks on the weekend 6th/7th October at Silverstone where rounds 25, 26 & 27 will take place.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jonathon Hobley