Shedden hits back in race two to take championship leadPosted: August 7, 2011 Filed under: British Touring Cars | Tags: BTCC 2011, Dave Newsham, Gordon Shedden, James Nash, Jason Plato, Mat Jackson, Matt Neal, Paul O'Neill, Snetterton Leave a comment
Gordon Shedden returned the favour for Honda by beating the Chevrolet drivers in the second race of the day, taking the lead in the series as his team-mate Matt Neal again failed to score.
Shedden latched onto the tail of the two Chevrolet drivers as the lights went out, and after tucking inside Alex MacDowall at the first corner, he took the lead a corner later when Jason Plato and his team-mate MacDowall outbraked themselves at Montreal and allowed the Honda to sneak through into the lead.
Shedden then began to streak away from the field as James Nash folowed him past Plato into second place, and the pair were untroubled on their way to the flag, Shedden winning comfortably by 1.5s. “The car was absolutely mega in that race” Shedden told ITV4.
Frank Wrathall continued to impress in the Toyota Avensis and cheekily made a solid overtaking move on reigning champion Plato in the infield section on the opening lap to snatch third place. His joy was to come to an unfortunate end on lap 10 when he pulled off into retirement with a problem having been overtaken by the Chevrolets at Corum on the previous lap.
Race one winner Plato had a different story of his moment at turn two, telling ITV4: “I don’t really know what happened but I felt as though I was ‘helped’ into the corner a little bit, and whether Gordon was hit from behind is another story. Our car always seems to work so well without the ballast and then struggle a bit when we get it in the car.”
It was however another difficult race for now ex-championship leader Neal, who had made a storming start to the race by climbing up into the top 10 by the end of lap one, and moving to ninth at the end of lap two. Neal was then gifted two places when, after failing to pass Mat Jackson a lap later, took advantage when Jackson tagged Tom Onslow-Cole into a half-spin at the Bomb Hole corner allowing the Honda through on the inside.
Neal then set off after the impressive Dave Newsham and made his move up the inside into Montreal corner a few laps later, and began chasing the Chevrolets ahead of him. However, a lap later Neal pulled off into the pits to see to a vibration on the car, but was sent back out having lost all chance of a good result.
Jackson also lost a place to Paul O’Neill in his earlier collision, and O’Neill began to catch Onslow-Cole before the pair made their way through as the AON Ford struggled for grip. The pair then set off after Newsham, O’Neill dispatching the SEAT at the Brundle/Nelson’s esses, while Jackson passed Newsham at the Montreal hairpin a lap later.
Behind Shedden and Nash at the front, Plato and MacDowall picked up third and fourth place respectively for Silverline Chevrolet, while fifth place went to O’Neill who just held off the charging Jackson in the closing stages of the race.
Newsham held on to seventh place ahead of Onslow-Cole and Andrew Jordan, while the top 10 was completed by Rob Collard who cut through the field from the back of the grid to claim the final point.
The result means that Shedden now leads the points on 146, ahead of Jackson on 141 and Neal still on 140.
The draw for the grid for race three saw a number seven drawn, meaning the front row will be Newsham on pole, and three-time reverse grid winner Jackson alongside him.
Race two results:
1. Gordon Shedden Honda 24m16.138s
2. James Nash Triple 8 Vauxhall + 1.597s
3. Jason Plato Chevrolet + 8.636s
4. Alex MacDowall Chevrolet + 9.233s
5. Paul O’Neill Tech-Speed Chevrolet + 9.910s
6. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford + 10.185s
7. Dave Newsham Special Tuning SEAT + 13.072s
8. Tom Onslow-Cole Arena Ford + 15.373s
9. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Vauxhall + 19.526s
10. Rob Collard WSR BMW + 21.528s
11. Nick Foster WSR BMW + 24.426s
12. Tom Chilton Arena Ford + 30.617s
13 Tony Gilham Triple 8 Vauxhall + 32.816s
14. Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford + 40.031s
15 Lea Wood Central Honda + 43.963s
16. Jeff Smith Eurotech Vauxhall + 48.403s
17. Matt Neal Honda + 51.744s
18. Daniel Welch Welch Proton + 1m50.168s
19. Tony Hughes Speedworks Toyota + 1m16.042s
DNF Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota 9 laps
DNF John George Tech-Speed Chevrolet 7 laps
DNF Andy Neate Arena Ford 4 laps
DNF Rob Austin Austin Audi 3 laps
DNF Martyn Byford AmD Volkswagen 3 laps