BTCC Thruxton Race 2: Gordon Shedden Powers To Victory

Shedden lead Mat Jackson on his way to a third win of the year (Photo Credit:
Shedden lead Mat Jackson on his way to a third win of the year (Photo Credit:

The rain finally easing Gordon Shedden repeated his pace of yesterday at Thruxton to drive from sixth on the grid to win the second race of the day. Though the rain stopped, and the track was visibly dryer in the closing laps the race was started under safety car – as the prior support events had been – Mat Jackson only passing the green flag as he started lap three.

Jackson, who had been mindful of a restart when he was leading the first got the better of Dave Newsham, pulling out a 2.8 second lead over the Vauxhall driver in a single racing lap. But immediately after the race started Shedden laid down a statement of intent by moving from sixth to fourth in one lap, dispatching Frank Wrathall for fifth at Campbell – the first corner of the complex – and out dragging Rob Collard's BMW down Woodham Hill.

By the end of lap five of the 16 lap distance – the initial safety car laps not added to the race distance as they would be if caused by a mid-race accident – Shedden was second, passing Jason Plato at the complex before out-braking Newsham into the Club chicane and moving into the three second void behind Jackson.

With -relatively – clear track ahead of him Shedden was unleashed the phenomenal pace of the Honda Civic this weekend on show as he cruised up to the back of Jackson's Focus in the space on only a few tours, setting the fastest lap (1:23.598) in the process.

Only Chris James held off Shedden's move into the lead. Shedden and Jackson were side by side coming down Woodham Hill after the Honda driver found more grip exiting Church. However, James' Vectra was parked on the outside of the circuit with damage caused by an off earlier in the lap. The yellow flags guarding the Vectra forced Shedden to abort any move into the chicane.

It was only a temporary stay for Jackson's tenure in the lead, Shedden moving through a surprisingly open door to take the lead from Jackson at Campbell.

Shedden's charge to the front was – rightly – taking the attention but Plato and Matt Neal were also moving forward, taking advantage as some of the S2000-spec runners began to struggle in the second half of the race. Plato took second from a defenceless looking Jackson at the complex, the race one winner offering little opposition as the MG sailed up the inside of Campbell.

Neal was finding it tougher to move up into the top five, though he eventually accomplished this by passing a fading Newham at the chicane with two laps remaining. Away from the works teams Frank Wrathall was also putting the NGTC advantage to good use, passing Rob Collard early on and Newsham on lap 13 before latching onto Jackson's bumper, Wrathall only just missing out on taking the final podium slot as the pair crossed the line nose-to-tail.

Behind Neal in fifth Newsham and Collard completed the races in relative solitude ahead of Aron Smith.

Tony Gilham just managed to hold off Andrew Jordan for ninth. The Pirtek Racing driver started from the rear of the field but fought his way up the order, picking up places steadily all race as he carved through the battles for the minor points. Jordan's final attempt to move up a place – to ninth – fell short by just 0.057 seconds, a gap made all the more bigger as Gilham will start the final race from pole after the reverse grid draw; Jordan will have to start from tenth.

Behind Jordan were a trail of those he had fought past, led by teammate Jeff Smith with Lea Wood, TomOnslow Cole, Nick Foster and Ollie Jackson completing the top 15.

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