BTCC Donington Park Race 2: Shedden Heads 1-2 For Honda

3 Mins read
Gordon Shedden leads at Donington Park (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

Gordon Shedden leads at Donington Park (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

Gordon Shedden gave the new NGTC Honda Civic its second win of 2012, and opened his own win account for the season, overcoming initial leader Mat Jackson before moving clear to win by over a second.

Shedden's lead had been more than double that distance just five laps from the end but teammate Matt Neal closed in during the final laps to secure a 1-2 for the Honda Yuasa Racing outfit.

Jackson, starting from pole position be virtue of his earlier win got the best of the start, comfortably leading around the opening lap with Shedden and Neal more than two seconds in arrears. Behind Rob Collard and Jason Plato were attempting go side-by-side through the chicane. Collard had formed up as part of a train of cars lining up to pass Plato's MG down the Dunlop Straight and down the inside the chicane. The two went through the opening part of the chicane safely, but with Plato ignoring the option to bale out and plough through the gravel on the inside of the second element the left hand part proved too much.

Plato eased Collard slightly wide on the kerb and grass on the exit, appearing to tip the rear-wheel-drive BMW into a spin back into Plato rear three-quarter panel. The contact send the MG spinning to the outside of the track where it made heavy contact with foam barriers while Collard span to inside, fortunately without any of the following pack collecting the BMW while it was briefly broadside to the track.

Though both cars continued (Plato would retire after 13 laps) the safety car was scrambled to enable replacing of the foam blocks deleting Jackson's lap one lead.

Rob Collard, Jason Plato (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

Jason Plato starts to ease Collard wide in defence of fourth place (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

Once the race restarted on lap four Shedden needed only a lap to get the better of Jackson, completing a simple move down the inside of the chicane against minimal defence from the Redstone Racing man. On lap eight Neal completed a similarly perfunctory move at Coppice. It looked as if Neal would follow Shedden in driving away from the Focus – in just the length of the Dunlop Straight and the chicane he had built a four-tenths lead over Jackson – but the race one winner kept pace with the no.1 Honda as Dave Newsham gained on the pair of them, pulling to within three-tenths before settling back into fourth place.

The race represented another good result for Newsham, especially after his first race had been hindered by a slow start. Team ES Racing boss Chris James was as high as 11th in the team's other Vectra before dropping behind a recovering Collard and into the battling group of Andy Neate, Adam Morgan and Liam Griffin.

Into McLeans on lap 12 James ran wide under pressure from Neate, allowing the MG and Morgan's Toyota through, though both were slightly delayed. Griffin came up behind them, jinking out from Morgan into exactly the same patch of East Midlands real estate as Chris James was rejoining onto. The pair converged, made heavy contact and speared off into the waiting gravel trap at the top of the hill.

The accident promoted Morgan to 13th for more BTCC points with Frank Wrathall, after a lap seven mistake while running eighth, and Lea Wood filling out the top fifteen.

Jeff Smith and Tony Gilham who had finished race one in the same battle for the minor points both fought through the field on their journey's to sixth and seventh respectively, Tom OnslowCole their final victim, Gilham passing the BMW at Coppice on the penultimate lap. Onslow-Cole, struggling in the closing laps fell further back behind Collard and Aron Smith to finish tenth ahead of eBay Motors teammate Nick Foster.

The reverse grid for the final race was further reward for Jeff Smith and Pirtek Racing. Smith was given pole position to cap off his surging drive, and will be joined by teammate Andrew Jordan on the front row to the day's finale.

2902 posts

About author
James is our Diet-Coke fuelled writer and has been with TCF pretty much since day 1, he can be found frequenting twitter at @_JBroomhead
Related posts

Ash Sutton regains BTCC Drivers' Championship with rampant race one win at Brands Hatch

2 Mins read
Imperious Ash Sutton took the BTCC Drivers’ title for a fourth time in the first race at Brands Hatch GP finishing off an incredible season.

Turkington tops Silverstone reverse grid race with 150th race win for BMW

2 Mins read
Four-time BTCC champion, Colin Turkington may be all but out of the BTCC Drivers’ Championship hunt, but concluded Silverstone with a milestone…

Sutton seals mind blowing Silverstone win from 23rd on the grid

2 Mins read
Ash Sutton is at it again in a drive that may have just sealed another BTCC Drivers’ Championship for the imperious NAPA…