Shedden wins as Honda dominate

Gordon Shedden took the spoils in the weekend’s opening race as Honda Racing banished their Thruxton demons from last year with a dominant one-two finish.

Shedden made the perfect getaway when the lights went out to hang onto his lead from pole, while Jordan slotted himself in between the two Hondas despite a strong start from Matt Neal in third position.

Neal then wasted no time in setting about piling the pressure on the Vauxhall driver, and on lap four he made a clean and decisive dive up the inside into the complex to snatch second place away from Jordan before begininng to edge away from the Eurotech man and set off in pursuit of his team-mate.

The Honda pairing then played team tactics to perfection as Shedden relinquished the lead briefly to allow team-mate Neal the point for leading a lap, before switching back again to hand Shedden the win that he had fully deserved, crossing the line 0.2s ahead of Neal in a Honda formation finish.

Shedden told ITV4: “with all the bad luck we’ve had in the past you start hearing noises so it was fantastic to get to the finish and even better to get a one two for Honda racing”.

Jordan held off the attentions of Tom Chilton for the final step on the podium in a race that was dominated by the turbocharged cars despite their 0.1 bar boost reduction, as Jason Plato lost a strong fifth place when he suffered another damaging accident.

Having muscled his way around the outside of Mat Jackson early in the race, A tyre failure on his Chevrolet Cruze pitched him off the road at the final chicane and into the barriers on lap 14 while he was pressuring Jordan and Chilton for the podium places. After the race, Plato was very vocal of the turbocharged cars, saying he had to push over the limit to keep up with them.

As a result, Tom Boardman grabbed an impressive fifth place having held off race-long presure from Jackson and the ever-improving Volkswagen Golf of Tom Onslow-Cole, who finished a strong seventh place ahead of James Nash.

The championship leader could only make up two places from his 10th starting spot, but could not make any further progress when he caught the three car battle ahead of him.

Jeff Smith again scored points with ninth place in the second Pirtek Vauxhall Vectra, while Alex Macdowall rounded out the top 10 in the second Silverline Chevrolet after winning a great early battle with Rob Collard when he overtook the BMW heading into the final chicane.

The result of race one means that Neal now leads the championship, six points ahead of Nash, while Plato now drops to sixth behind Shedden.

Race one results:

 1.  Gordon Shedden   Honda                 21m28.457s
2.  Matt Neal        Honda                   + 0.256s
3.  Andrew Jordan    Eurotech Vauxhall       + 2.651s
4.  Tom Chilton      Arena Ford              + 4.361s
5.  Tom Boardman     Special Tuning SEAT     + 9.142s
6.  Mat Jackson      Motorbase Ford          + 9.611s
7.  Tom Onslow-Cole  AmD Volkswagen         + 10.641s
8.  James Nash       Triple 8 Vauxhall      + 11.382s
9.  Jeff Smith       Eurotech Vauxhall      + 12.469s
10.  Alex MacDowall   Chevrolet              + 12.827s
11.  Tony Gilham      Triple 8 Vauxhall      + 19.416s
12.  Rob Collard      WSR BMW                + 20.068s
13.  Paul O’Neill     Tech-Speed Chevrolet   + 20.786s
14.  Liam Griffin     Motorbase Ford         + 32.348s
15.  Nick Foster      WSR BMW                + 33.482s
16.  Andy Neate       Arena Ford             + 39.931s
17.  John George      Tech-Speed Chevrolet   + 45.057s
18.  Chris James      ES Chevrolet             + 1 lap
DNF Jason Plato      Chevrolet                13 laps
DNF Frank Wrathall   Dynojet Toyota            3 laps
DNF Rob Austin       Rob Austin Audi           0 laps

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