BTCC

NEAL & SHEDDEN SHARE WINS AT OULTON PARK, SHEDDEN MOVES INTO CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD

Honda team-mates Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden shared the wins in three incident-packed Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races at Oulton Park today. And it is Scotsman Shedden who leaves the Cheshire circuit the new championship leader as the BTCC now heads to the challenging Croft circuit in North Yorkshire for its next three races of 2012 on the weekend of 23/24 June.

Jason Plato had set a qualifying lap record on Saturday to grab pole position on the starting grid for today’s first race but a problem with his KX Momentum Racing MG6 meant he never took the start. Neal took victory in his Yuasa Honda Racing Team Civic ahead of Andrew Jordan’s Pirtek Racing Civic and Hampshire ace Robert Collard’s eBay Motors BMW.

It was then Shedden’s turn to win in race two as Lichfield’s Jordan took another second place finish. Plato, from the back of the grid, took third after a stunning drive through the pack while a career-best fourth was Fleet’s Daniel Welch in his Welch Motorsport Proton Persona.

In race three Neal won again, this time from Plato and Collard’s team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole. Another driver also celebrated his best result to date, namely Hereford’s Lea Wood who was fifth in his BINZ Racing Vauxhall Vectra.

As a result Fife racer Shedden tonight leads the title race by five points from Worcestershire team-mate Neal. Oxford’s Plato, who had led going into today’s three races, has fallen to third, seven points behind Neal.

“It’s been a very topsy-turvy day with no-one really able to put together three strong races and, if I’m honest, I’m a little surprised to be leading,” commented Shedden from Dalgety Bay. “I’ll take points on the board any day but it means my car will go into the Croft event with maximum ballast which will make it very tough to qualify well there.”

Reigning Champion Neal from Shenstone added: “I never expected a win at all today – I really thought Jason was going to have it his own way – so for two to come along is a real surprise. If he can have a problem, though, it just goes to show how quickly it can turn around and there’s still a very long way to go in the season.”

And said Plato: “After the non-start in race one it was all about damage limitation after that and that meant a few risks, but the race two result from the back of the grid was very enjoyable. Second in that third race was also very important as it keeps us right in the hunt going to Croft.”

Elsewhere Honda/Dynamics and the Honda Yuasa Racing Team have increased their leads in the Manufacturers/Constructors and HiQ Teams championships. Jordan has moved into the lead of the Independent Drivers Trophy table. But it is Redstone Racing which continues to head the Independent Teams Trophy standings.

Meanwhile Nick Foster and Chris James each received official reprimands and two penalty points on their competition licences for collisions in Oulton’s first race, with Aron Smith and Tony Hughes respectively. Mat Jackson was identically punished after a collision with Robert Collard in race two and received the same again following a clash with Daniel Welch in race three.

Formula One

Lewis Hamilton victorious in the Grand Prix du Canada

Ferrari gambles with a one stopper and fails.

Lotus F1 driver Romain Grosjean capitalizes and take second.

Sauber’s one stop strategy pays off with Perez on the podium.

Lewis Hamilton won the Canadian Grand Prix for the third time on Sunday and made his McLaren Mercedes the seventh car in as many Formula One races to win this season.

Hamilton roared past defending F1 champion Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull and Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari late in the 70-lap race to take the checkered flag with a 2.5-second gap over Romain Grosjean’s Lotus.

Hamilton, the 2008 world champion, won in Canada in 2007 and 2010, but was bumped out early last year when his teammate Jenson Button claimed the win.

Sergio Perez was third for Sauber, with Vettel fourth, Alonso fifth, Nico Rosberg sixth in a Petronas Mercedes, Mark Webber of Red Bull seventh, Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus in eighth, Kamui Kobayashi of Sauber ninth and Felipe Massa of Ferrari 10th.

Earlier this year, Button (Australia), Alonso (Malaysia), Rosberg (China), Vettel (Bahrain), Pastor Maldonado (Spain) and Webber (Monaco) won races — a first since F1 began in 1950. Hamilton extended that record to seven different winners.

Vettel, starting from pole position for a second year in a row, held the lead until he pitted for super-soft tires after 16 laps, putting Hamilton in front until he went in a lap later. The Englishman took over the lead and passed Alonso on lap 20, with Vettel back in third spot.

Hamilton’s pitted again after lap 49 with fading tires, returning in third place behind Alonso and Vettel.

On fresh tires, Hamilton cranked up the speed and passed Vettel on lap 62 and Alonso one lap later to regain the lead.

British Formula 3

Tincknell & Harvey make it three in a row for Carlin

Wins for Harry Tincknell and Jack Harvey today at Rockingham set the seal on an excellent weekend for the Carlin team in the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series. Tincknell took the honours in the morning’s reverse-grid race to score his maiden win of the season, while Harvey dominated the afternoon feature race to claim his second victory of 2012 and re-establish his championship hopes.

Carlin’s Saturday winner, Jazeman Jaafar, leads the championship table by a 13-point margin from Harvey as the series swings toward Kent and the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit in a fortnight’s time.

Round 10
Harry Tincknell scored his first win of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 season at Rockingham this morning, the Carlin man driving a faultless race from second on the grid to lead home two of his team-mates, Pietro Fantin and Jack Harvey, and become the sixth different winner of the season.

Tincknell won the race away from the startline, blasting past pole man Nick McBride (T-Sport) to secure the lead around the turn one banking and into the Deene hairpin, with Fantin following him through past McBride to take up second spot.

Fantin was an ever-present threat to Tincknell but there were no mistakes from the Devonian, who crossed the line six-tenths ahead for the win. “I knew it was all going to be about the start,” said Harry. “We’ve worked really hard to improve my starts, and I’m really glad that that hard work has paid off. I knew I just had to get away well and get in front to the first corner, and that’s exactly what happened. It worked perfectly. After that it was just a question of managing the tyres and managing the gap.”

McBride held on in third for four laps until Harvey squeezed through at Deene to secure the final place on the podium. The T-Sport man slipped further down the order thereafter, losing eighth on the final lap to Fortec’s Pipo Derani.

Felix Serralles got the better of an entertaining duel with his Fortec team-mate Hannes van Asseldonk, passing the Dutchman on lap five to move into fourth spot, which he held to the end ahead of van Asseldonk, Saturday victor Jazeman Jaafar, Alex Lynn, Derani and McBride.

Carlos Sainz might have been on for eighth but slipped to the back after a clash with Fahmi Ilyas caused him to spin on lap five. The Spaniard continued to 12th, behind Ilyas and Geoff Uhrhane.

T-Sport’s Spike Goddard suffered a rare defeat in the National class, Double R’s Duvashen Padayachee taking over the class lead at mid-distance and going on to record a 20-second victory. “It was a bit better for me this time around,” said Padayachee. “We weren’t quick in qualifying but we made a good step forward with the set up for the races.”

Round 11
Jack Harvey more than set to rights his Rockingham weekend this afternoon, putting in a virtuoso performance in the 11th round to win by a 22-second margin. Yesterday Jack burnt his clutch on the line and threw away his pole position advantage; today there were no errors from the Lincolnshire driver.

As is always the case at Rockingham, the start was crucial and Harvey nailed it, followed away from P2 by Fortec’s Alex Lynn and Carlos Sainz, who jumped Jaafar off the line. The only blip for Harvey came towards the end of that lap when the Safety Car made a brief appearance following a collision between some midfielders. It was on track for a lap only and Harvey handled the restart perfectly and sped into the distance.

By lap 10 jumping Jack was seven seconds clear of Lynn, and by lap 20 the gap was 14 seconds. Harvey did not slacken the pace, however, and by the end was still circulating close to his lap record-breaking pace of the seventh lap.

“That definitely made up for yesterday,” said Harvey. “I made a good start, dealt with the safety car, and the winning margin was not too shabby.” His team boss Trevor Carlin was fulsome in his praise: “That race was phenomenal – a really proper Formula 3 performance, how a driver should do it. Jack showed everyone up today.”

Alex Lynn was pleased enough with another second: “Jack was very quick today. He had a bad run yesterday so he was out to make up for it. Second is good, and I’m happy with the points.”

Sainz’s third place was some compensation for a difficult weekend for the Spanish former championship leader. “It makes up for things a little,” he said. “I got a good start and tried to push as hard as I could with the tyres that I had.”

Jaafar, Hannes van Asseldonk and Felix Serralles ran in line astern throughout for fourth, fifth and sixth places, with Pipo Derani pinching seventh from Fahmi Ilyas early on. Pietro Fantin and Nick McBride completed the top 10.

The first-lap fracas at Yentwood corner which brought out the safety car accounted for two cars, those of Tincknell and Spike Goddard, both of whom retired to the pits. Geoff Uhrhane suffered damage also but continued after attention in the pits from the Double R technicians.

With Goddard out of the running, Double R’s Duvashen Padayachee enjoyed a trouble-free run to his fourth National Class win of the season, narrowing the points gap between himself and Spike to just 16 points in the process.