Shedden leads Honda one-two in reverse grid racePosted: April 29, 2012
Honda Yuasa Racing left the disappointment of yesterday behind them as Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal took a superb one-two for the team in race three, Shedden taking his second win of the day at Thruxton to close on the championship lead.
His old car started the race from pole position in the hands of Tony Gilham, who shot off into the early lead with the fast-starting BMW of Rob Collard leaping up to second place.
With the track still wet, the first laps were action-packed from the start as Mat Jackson ended up sideways across the track at the first corner, he and team-mate Aron Smith both dropping back into the swarming pack.
Coming out of Goodwood, Collard then had a big slide on the damp patches and was swamped by the two Hondas and Frank Wrathall’s Toyota, Neal making up two places in one swift move.
Wrathall then thumped Neal wide at the Complex on lap two, dropping him to fourth as Shedden moved into third. The Scot then took second from Wrathall into Church, with Neal following him into third with a bravemove around the outside as the Dynojet Toyota lost momentum.
Gilham grimly held his lead for three laps, but the new NGTC Civics were too strong for him as both were ahead of him by the time they came out of the Complex.
Then came disaster shortly after as Wrathall began attacking Gilham for third spot. As they craked for the Complex, Gilham locked up his fronts and skated off the road, stuffing the front end of the Team HARD Honda into the barriers to his dismay.
From there on it was plain sailing for the Dynamics pair, Shedden claiming a narrow win from Neal after the pair did a brief swap to allow Neal the extra points for leading a lap, before Shedden assumed the lead again to complete the brilliant one-two for the team.
“It’s been a mega day, an absolutely mega day,” said a delighted Shedden.
Eight second further back, Wrathall was busy defending his third place from championship leader Jason Plato. The Triple Eight MG driver tried his hardest to find a way round the youngster, but had to settle for fourth as a move round the outside at the chicane for the final time didn’t pay off.
Behind them, another battle was going on between Jackson and Andrew Jordan. Jordan, who had been having a disaster of the day so far, made his move latein the race and went on to claim a comfortable fifth place finish in another NGTC Civic.
Collard again settled for a distant seventh for WSR, while Lea Wood was again impressive as he finished eighth. The pair came together fighting for that seventh place however at the chicane on the final lap, Collard spinning but still beating Wood to the line.
Jeff Smith made it into the top 10 for Eurotech, ahead of Tom Onslow-Cole who ended an average weekend with 10th place.
ES Racing’s Dave Newsham had a race to forget as he decided to start the race with a mix of slick tyres on the front and wets on the rear, and as the rain worsened during the race he was powerless to avoid slipping a lap down in 18th.
Plato still leads the championship after a consistent weekend, but is only four points ahead of Shedden who moves to second ahead of team-mate Neal after a superb Thruxton.
Race three results:
1. Gordon Shedden Dynamics Honda 22m42.574s
2. Matt Neal Dynamics Honda + 0.719s
3. Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota + 8.102s
4. Jason Plato Triple 8 MG + 9.647s
5. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Honda + 13.264s
6. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford + 25.112s
7. Rob Collard WSR BMW + 41.980s
8. Lea Wood Wood Vauxhall + 44.687s
9. Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda + 45.249s
10. Tom Onslow-Cole WSR BMW + 50.975s
11. Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford + 53.379s
12. Nick Foster WSR BMW + 54.136s
13. Rob Austin Austin Audi + 1m08.744s
14. Aron Smith Motorbase Ford + 1 lap
15. Ollie Jackson AmD Volkswagen + 1 lap
16. Tony Hughes Speedworks Toyota + 1 lap
17. Chris James ES Vauxhall + 1 lap
18. Dave Newsham ES Vauxhall + 2 laps
DNF Adam Morgan Speedworks Toyota 15 laps
DNF Andy Neate Triple 8 MG 6 laps
DNF Tony Gilham Gilham Honda 5 laps