Tag Archives: Gordon Shedden

BTCC

Jordan BTCC

JORDAN MOVES TO CHAMPIONSHIP SUMMIT AFTER DOUBLE VICTORY— 

Rob Austin also stars at Rockingham by taking maiden BTCC win—

Andrew Jordan moved to the summit of the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship after taking two impressive wins at Rockingham, whilst Rob Austin also starred with his maiden series victory.
 
Pirtek Racing’s Jordan stormed from fourth on the grid to lead at the end of a frantic first lap in race one, which he comfortably converted into a commanding victory ahead of Airwaves Racing’s Mat Jackson and WIX Racing’s Rob Austin.
 
Drama struck further down the order when the Audi of Will Bratt was touched by the eBay Motors BMW of Nick Foster on the run to Gracelands for the first time, and the Toyota Avensis of Adam Morgan was collected in the ensuing melee. This triggered a separate incident as the Proton of Daniel Welch and Ford Focus of Tom Onslow-Cole collided while trying to take avoiding action. With the Malaysian machine of Welch stranded on the circuit he was hit by the oncoming Chevrolet Cruze of Andy Neate – ending both cars involvement for the rest of the day.
 
Race two belonged to the ever-popular Austin who blasted by Mat Jackson and pole-sitter Jordan off the line from third on the grid. By the time Honda Yuasa Racing’s Gordon Shedden had made his way into second, Austin had cruised into an unassailable lead. The main grandstand rose as one when Austin crossed the line to take the win ahead of the Scotsman and the BMW of championship challenger Colin Turkington, who had made a late race move by Jackson.
 
Having already moved to the top of the standings, Jordan extended his advantage after producing an assured victory in the final showdown, whilst Turkington and the MG of Jason Plato battled it out behind for the final podium positions.
 
As in the first race, Jordan had to contend with a safety car period following a high-speed incident in the midfield. The Toyota Avensis of Adam Morgan ran across the grass coming out of Pif Paf, whilst the Honda Civic of Jeff Smith spun luridly across the track. As cars ducked and dived to avoid Smith, Jack Goff’s Vauxhall Insignia and Rob Collard’s BMW made contact and both hit the barrier with significant force.
 
The safety car period had initially looked as if it could spice up the top order, but with a repeat performance from race one, Jordan dealt with the interruption with consummate ease to take the lights-to-flag win ahead of Turkington and Plato.
 
Rockingham represented Mat Jackson’s biggest points haul of the 2013 campaign as he backed up his podium and fourth places from the first two contests with another fourth in the last race.
 
Matt Neal endured a torrid time after spinning down the order in the opener and retiring from race two. He soared through the field to finish seventh in the third race and at least brought home some solid points in his quest to win a fourth BTCC drivers’ championship. Having led the standings coming into Rockingham, Neal is now fourth behind Jordan, Shedden and Turkington.
 
A hat-trick of wins for Lea Wood in the S2000 class means the Vauxhall Vectra driver has now moved beyond the reach of his Jack Sears Trophy rivals with six races of the season still remaining.
 
The 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship now moves on to Silverstone for its penultimate event on 28/29 September before a title-deciding season finale at Brands Hatch on 12/13 October.
 
Andrew Jordan said: “That went even better than I’d planned to be honest! We thought we’d be quick in the wet but didn’t really know how well we’d go in the dry so such success was a bit unexpected – the car was a dream to drive all day. With six races to go a lot can happen – Matt has had a bad day today, but that could easily be me at Silverstone so we’ve got to keep our heads down, not focus too much on the championship and keep doing what we do best which is be competitive right to the end.”
 
Rob Austin said: “What a feeling! It has been three years of blood, sweat and tears – for the team, for my family, for everyone. We’re up against teams with four times our budget and to beat guys like that is just incredible. I backed off a bit towards the end but Sherman was brilliantly prepared and the guys did a great job – I’m so proud of the whole team. The BTCC crowd are amazing too and I love them all! They’ve got me out of trouble already this season when we had our big shunt on the first weekend. We wouldn’t be here without them so I can’t thank the fans enough.”
 
Gordon Shedden said: “Today wasn’t perfect but a fourth, a second and a fifth was good strong points. It looked like we had a good run in race two, but Jordan got pole for race three and we were left to fight it out mid-pack. Even though the car didn’t quite feel in the sweet spot this weekend, it’s points that make prizes at the end of the day and it was good to score well in every race. Now I just need to go on and score some more – everybody’s been having their problems as the year has gone on except Andrew, so it’s up to the rest of us collectively to outscore him. Historically Brands Hatch GP at the end of the year has been great for us, but we’ll have a lot of work to do at Silverstone.”
 
Lea Wood said: “In my mind the championship isn’t over until the end of the year, but to get the results we did today and move out of reach of the others is fantastic. The car performed faultlessly all weekend. We gambled in race one on the slick tyres – it was touch and go for quite a while but we reeled in David Nye and to pass him on the final lap was a great feeling and probably one of the best moments of the year. The plan for the rest of the season is to keep winning as many as we can!”

2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Rockingham race results:

Race 1

1 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) 19 Laps
2 Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) +3.379
3 Rob Austin (WIX Racing) +9.071
4 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) +9.271
5 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) +14.803
6 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) +19.462
Race 2

1 Rob Austin (WIX Racing) 16 Laps
2 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) +3.351
3 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) +8.983
4 Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) +10.569
5 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +10.696
6 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) +14.784
Race 3

1 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) 19 Laps
2 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) +3.180
3 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) +4.076
4 Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) +10.327
5 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) +12.587
6 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +15.076
 
Championship Standings:

1 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) 338
2 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) 308
3 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) 305
4 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) 304   
5 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) 276     
6 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) 218 

BTCC

Colin Turkington

Mixed emotions for double top Turkington—

eBay Motors racer wins twice before Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan claims final race victory at Knockhill—
 

Colin Turkington fired himself further into championship contention after taking two stunning wins in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill, before a technical infringement in race three saw the Ulsterman disqualified from a vital fourth place.
 
The 31-year-old won the opener after making his way by the Audi of pole-sitter Rob Austin in the early running. The eBay Motors racer subsequently streaked away from the chasing pack to claim his first ever BTCC victory at the Scottish circuit and he duly doubled up in race two.
 
Turkington’s second win was far more routine as he cruised to an impressive lights-to-flag victory ahead of Austin and local hero Gordon Shedden, who both reversed their positions from the first race.
 
Scotsman Shedden seemed set to build on his big points haul in race three but he faced unfortunate late heartache. While running in fifth place the reigning champion’s Honda Civic caught fire due to an engine failure, much to the dismay of the tens of thousands of home fans. He wasn’t the only championship contender to endure disappointment, however, as Turkington was excluded from fourth place when his car was found to have exceeded the maximum boost allowance.
 
The main benefactors from Shedden and Turkington’s respective woes in the final contest were the championship’s top two, as Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan produced a flawless drive to claim a commanding victory ahead of Honda Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal and eBay Motors’ Rob Collard – the latter scoring his first podium of the 2013 season.
 
Austin rounded off his best weekend ever in the BTCC with a fourth place finish, whilst Daniel Welch also produced his highest result of the season with sixth. Sandwiched between them was MG KX Momentum’s Jason Plato who had earlier claimed a fourth and a seventh from the opening races to keep his championship hopes alive.
 
Neal maintained the standings lead at the conclusion of the event although Jordan edged closer to the championship summit after his race three victory – the 24-year-old is now just six points behind the three-time champion. Shedden and Turkington are separated by three points in third and fourth respectively.
 
The Jack Sears Trophy provided its usual pulsating action with the lead duo of Liam Griffin and Lea Wood mixing it against a number of NGTC cars throughout the day. Griffin looked set to score an incredible hat-trick after two stellar wins in his Ford Focus ST, but he was nudged out of the race three lead by BTCC debutant Kieran Gallagher in his Team HARD-run Vauxhall Insignia. The victory went to Wood in his Vauxhall Vectra, who now leads Griffin by ten wins to six.

Colin Turkington said: “The car was really on rails today and it was a strong weekend. It was good to win at Croft and we thought that was something like peak performance but it felt even better today. There’s no feeling like being out at the front! When your car works well at a track you have to capitalise, which we did in the first two races. I’d never won here, despite leading before, so it’s great to win at a new track. It’s hard to know how the circuits to come will suit us as it’s the first time we’ll be taking the new BMW to them all, but we’ll keep pushing.”
 
Andrew Jordan said: “Race three was where we thought we could get the win and thankfully we did. We went with the soft tyre and got a really good start, which was ideal and it was a great race after that. The championship is going to be up and down for everyone and there are still nine races to go. Anything can happen in touring car racing, and it usually does, so we’ll just keep to our plan by trying be consistent and hopefully I’ll end up as champion.”
 
Matt Neal said: “I think that every point you get is vital whether it’s a fifth place, a seventh or the podium that we picked up in race three. You’ve just got to grab what you can because the competition is pretty tough and it’s not easy out there. I’d had a pretty tough weekend so it was a relief to see the podium again – this championship could come down to the odd point. I said before this weekend that Turkington could be the one to watch and we’d all be foolish to discount Plato too, but it’s great to have three Civics in the top three of the championship.”
 
Gordon Shedden said: “That’s the first engine I’ve ever had blow in touring cars so I can’t complain too much. It doesn’t help with the points of course as it’s all well and good having two good results but you need to convert results in all three races. There’s no room for error but I’ve kept chipping away since Thruxton, so it’s tough to take when you get within ten points of the championship and then fall away again with this. There’s still a lot of races to go though so we’ll give it absolutely everything until the end of the season.”

2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Knockhill race results:

Race 1

1 Colin Turkington  (eBay Motors)27 Laps
2 Gordon Shedden(Honda Yuasa Racing)+3.452
3 Rob Austin(WIX Racing)+4.229
4 Jason Plato(MG KX Momentum Racing) +6.867
5 Adam Morgan(Ciceley Racing)+7.364
6 Robert Collard(eBay Motors)+7.939
Race 2
1 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) 24 Laps
2 Rob Austin (WIX Racing) +1.821
3 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) +4.658
4 Robert Collard (eBay Motors) +5.075
5 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) +8.738
6 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) +9.520
Race 3

1 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) 26 Laps
2 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) +3.962
3 Robert Collard (eBay Motors) +4.440
4 Rob Austin (WIX Racing) +9.206
5 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) +12.782
6 Daniel Welch (Welch Motorsport with Sopp + Sopp) +15.899
 
Championship Standings:

1 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing)      293     
2 Andrew Jordan    (Pirtek Racing)     287     
3 Gordon Shedden  (Honda Yuasa Racing)    266     
4 Colin Turkington   (eBay Motors)    263     
5 Jason Plato  (MG KX Momentum Racing)   239     
6 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing)   197      

Penalties:

Adam Morgan received a 2.5s penalty for gaining an unfair advantage in race one

Nick Foster received an official reprimand for an incident relating to driving standards in race one 

Aron Smith received a £500 fine and 3 penalty points for an incident relating to driving standards in race three. In a separate incident in the same race Smith also received a further reprimand and 2 penalty points for an incident relating to driving standards

Colin Turkington was excluded from the race three result after his car was found to exceed the maximum boost allowance

Kieran Gallagher received an official reprimand and two penalty points for an incident relating to driving standards in race three

BTCC

Snetterton enjoyed three action-packed BTCC races in perfect conditions
Snetterton enjoyed three action-packed BTCC races in perfect conditions

Tordoff, Jordan and Shedden share the spoils – 

Neal maintains championship lead after thrilling BTCC event at Snetterton… 

MG KX Momentum Racing driver Sam Tordoff secured the first victory of his BTCC career in Sunday’s opener at Snetterton, before the Hondas of Andrew Jordan and Gordon Shedden claimed a win apiece in races two and three respectively.
 
Proving something of a Snetterton specialist, having won there previously in both the Clio Cup and Carrera Cup, Tordoff stormed to his maiden BTCC pole position on Saturday and then duly backed-up his pace with a commanding lights-to-flag victory in race one.
 
Plato followed Tordoff home to secure MG’s second one-two finish of the season, whilst Shedden had to fend off late challenges from both Colin Turkington and Andrew Jordan to secure the final podium position.
 
While the first contest was relatively incident free, the final two races provided enough drama to last a whole season.
 
Jordan won an action-packed race two after he passed Turkington when the two made contact late on. Matt Neal blasted from ninth on the grid to finish second, and the ever-improving Ford Focus of Aron Smith took the first podium of the season for the Motorbase-run squad.
 
Plato had led the early running before his car ground to a halt with an engine problem, but his day was to take an even bigger twist in the final showdown. Fighting his way through the order on the opening lap of race three, his MG6 spun wildly on the run down to Hamilton before making heavy contact with the barrier, which tipped his car into a dramatic barrel roll. The two-time BTCC champion walked away unharmed from the spectacular incident although his championship hopes were obviously dented.
 
The drama continued after the restart and when Shedden honed in on early leader Turkington, the pair touched while racing for position. Turkington spun down the order as Shedden nipped through to take a comfortable win. The Scotsman’s victory proved to be the second success of the day for the Dunlop Sport Maxx Soft tyre after Jordan’s earlier race win.
 
Airwaves Racing enjoyed its best race of the season so far as Irishman Aron Smith took his second podium of the day behind team-mate Mat Jackson, who scored his first rostrum of 2013 with second place.
 
Honda Yuasa Racing’s Neal maintains the championship lead after his podium and a further two top ten finishes. Jordan is now nine points in arrears with Shedden a further 13 points adrift. Turkington has moved into fourth ahead of the MG pairing of Plato and Tordoff, who will feel they could’ve made more of their superior performance in Norfolk. Honda extended its points advantage over MG in the Manufacturers’ standings.

Lea Wood claimed the first ever hat-trick on wins in the Jack Sears Trophy as his Vauxhall Vectra ran faultlessly throughout, whilst his main class rivals suffered myriad of issues.  

Sam Tordoff said: “The first one is always special. I knew that if I got away well I’d have a great chance of winning and thankfully I did. A one-two is great for the team and it feels like I have ticked an important box with this maiden win.”
 
Andrew Jordan said: “It was a frenetic race win. Colin was driving very very well, defensively but fair, and then he made a little mistake. I put my car up the inside – he closed me down a little bit and I couldn’t go anywhere else. It was a great race and a good win, but it’s typical of Matt Neal to come through to finish second, so I only got a few points back on him.”
 
Gordon Shedden said: “It was a nice way to finish. It looked like it was going to be a tough weekend, and that’s how it turned out. It’s always good to finish on a high, and it’s just reward to all the effort that Honda and Team Dynamics have put in to try and get our little Civic on the case this weekend.”
 
Mat Jackson said: “Everybody at Airwaves Racing has worked really hard to get to where we’ve got to, and it’s all credit to them for the results this weekend. We’ve turned a corner – we’re back. We’ve obviously found something in the car, and for a change I’m really looking forward to the next round!”
 
Aron Smith said: “It’s unbelievable – this is the weekend our efforts deserved and it’s like our championship has finally started. The pace Mat and I had all weekend shows that all the work that we’ve put in is now starting to pay dividends, and we now have a package that can challenge at the front. I’m sure it made for some entertaining TV, but it was certainly frantic in the car!”

2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Snetterton race results:

Race 1
1 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) 12 Laps
2 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) +2.514
3 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) +3.564
4 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) +3.829
5 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) +4.313
6 Aron Smith (Airwaves Racing) +8.908 

Race 2
1 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) 14 Laps
2 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) +2.770
3 Aron Smith (Airwaves Racing) +3.467
4 Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) +4.158
5 Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing) +6.822
6 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) +7.207
Race 3

1 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) 15 Laps
2 Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) +3.090
3 Aron Smith (Airwaves Racing) +10.656
4 Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing) +11.995
5 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +12.578
6 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) +12.991 
Championship Standings:
1  Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) 256

2 Andrew Jordan(Pirtek Racing) 247
3 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) 234
4 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) 219
5 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) 206
6 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) 182

For full results from the weekend, click here.

Penalties:

Andrew Jordan received two penalty points for an incident relating to driving standards in race two

Gordon Shedden received three penalty points and a £500 fine for an incident relating to driving standards in race three

BTCC

Turkington3

Colin Turkington takes epic pole…

eBay Motors driver sets new lap record on a last-gasp lap to take pole position at Croft 

Colin Turkington took a sensational pole position after his last gasp flyer edged out Jason Plato’s MG at Croft in North Yorkshire. Current Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship leader Matt Neal secured third for Honda Yuasa Racing ahead of his team-mate Gordon Shedden.
 
The action was frenetic from start-to-finish in what was arguably the most exciting qualifying session of the season so far. Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan led the way early on, whilst fellow Honda driver Shedden was lucky to escape without damage on his first run after locking up and running into the tyre barrier at the Complex.
 
Neal also made contact with a tyre wall as he made his way through the chicane but not before he’d lowered the ultimate benchmark – setting a time just 0.001s shy of Tom Chilton’s 2010 lap record.
 
It was a lap record that would be broken before the session’s end, however, as first Plato dipped under the time with a 1:24.465s. Neal, Shedden and Turkington followed, making it a quartet of BTCC champions in the top four positions, but the order would change again after late drama.
 
The session was stopped with just under four minutes remaining when Joe Girling lost control of his S2000 Chevrolet Cruze while exiting the chicane. The car made heavy contact with the barrier, firing debris across the circuit, before coming to a rest at the side of the track.
 
A brief pause in proceedings to clear up the accident was followed by a final two-lap dash as the entire field tried to improve their times. A number of drivers managed it with the best being saved until last as Turkington hooked up a quite brilliant lap – even avoiding a spinning Airwaves Racing Ford Focus in the process – to cross the line 0.148s quicker than Plato.
 
Neal and Shedden held off a late challenge from Jordan, who scuppered his final chance of moving up from fifth after running into the gravel at turn one.
 
It proved to be a double late celebration in the eBay Motors garage as Rob Collard improved to sixth in the final moments, securing his best grid position of the season.
 
Dynojet’s Frank Wrathall proved the best of the Toyota runners in seventh, whilst MG KX Momentum’s Sam Tordoff had to settle for eighth after a relatively low-key run for the Yorkshireman at his home circuit.
 
Tom Onslow-Cole was another to set his best lap on his last attempt, which pushed his VW Passat up to ninth, ahead of the Ciceley Racing Toyota of Adam Morgan.
 
Jake Hill (Ford Focus) led the Jack Sears competitors for much of the running in his first ever BTCC qualifying session, before class leader Lea Wood (Vauxhall Vectra) came through to take the honours shortly before the red flag.

 

Colin Turkington said: “Croft has always been a good hunting ground for me and the rear wheel drive cars, so I knew that if we were going to go well it would be around here. The car has been competitive all day, and in qualifying I had a bit of drama before the red flag. I knew there was a time in the car if I could get a clean lap – it only happened once in that session but that’s all it takes! My first lap on the final run I was caught in traffic, then on the pole lap one of the Fords lost it in front of me and I thought I’d have to back out of it. Thankfully he just veered off line so I got a clean lap – it wasn’t perfect but it was good enough. Looking at tomorrow, we’re still very much in the dark if it rains – I have driven the car in the wet but in the race we’ll just have to suck it and see.”

Jason Plato said: “It wasn’t a big surprise to see Colin up there ­– it has always been a really good circuit for rear wheel drive BMWs and as we’ve said many times before Colin is a class act. He’s going to be a tough man to beat tomorrow, and providing he doesn’t make mistakes – which he won’t because he’s one of the world’s best – then it’ll be difficult. Our plan is to go for the people who are ahead of us in the championship at the moment. Our immediate focus and target therefore has to be Honda. If we can out-perform them this weekend and close the gap up then it’ll be job done going into the summer break.” 

Matt Neal said: “I’m really pleased to get third place carrying maximum weight on the car. It’s handling really well – there might be a little bit more in it, but the session went really well. I’d used all my tyres up by the time the red flag came out so I didn’t have to worry about pushing too hard at the end. Wet or dry the car is good – but if it does rain tomorrow then we know we’ll still be at the sharp end. Starting near the front is especially critical around here in the wet – the aquaplaning up to Tower Bend is really bad, and if you’re any further down than about sixth it’s pretty hard to pick the puddles out.”
2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship: Qualifying 

1 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) 1:24.465 
2 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) +0.148 
3 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) +0.165
4 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) +0.241
5 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) +0.291
6 Robert Collard (eBay Motors) +0.354
7 Frank Wrathall (Dynojet) +0.678
8 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +0.811
9 Tom Onslow-Cole (PPCGB/Kraftwerk Racing) +0.856
10 Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing) +0.909

F1Weekly podcast # 621

BTCC brands hatch 2013

F1WEEKLY PODCAST NUMBER 621- NASIR IS BACK FROM SEPANG AND SHARES HIS THOUGHTS ON THE MALAYSIAN CONTROVERSY. MG TAKES VICTORY IN THE FIRST AND SECOND RACES IN THE BTCC SEASON OPENER AT BRANDS HATCH AND HONDA RALLIES IN THE FINAL RACE OF THE WEEKEND…

MG racer Plato claims two wins before Neal leads home a Honda one-two in final contest.

Jason Plato leads the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship after taking two wins from the opening three races of the season on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.
 
Matt Neal led home Honda Yuasa Racing team-mate Gordon Shedden in the final race to ensure the champion squad ended a challenging weekend on a high. Fellow Honda Civic driver Andrew Jordan is second in the standings after securing a pole position, two second places and a sixth from the weekend.
 
Plato won the opening race of the year after coming out on top of a pulsating battle with Jordan. Rob Austin had led the early running in his Audi A4 before both Plato and Jordan slipped by. A closing Jordan made one final lunge on Plato in an attempt to claim victory, and the rather optimistic move ended in contact with both cars sliding off the track. Incredibly both scrabbled their way back onto the circuit before third placed Austin had arrived, and Plato hung on to win.
 
Race two was a much more commanding affair as Plato took a lights-to-flag victory – the 76th win of his record breaking BTCC career. Jordan again claimed second, ahead of the charging Honda of reigning champion Shedden. The Scotsman was later excluded, however, after his car failed ride height regulations during post-race scrutineering, handing Jeff Smith a popular podium for Pirtek Racing.
 
Triple-champion Neal then went on to secure his first win of the new campaign, leading home team-mate Shedden by an incredibly close 0.083s. Neal took the lead early on after pole-sitter Mat Jackson slid wide in his Ford Focus at Druids. The Honda driver went on to take charge of the race, before fending off a late challenge from Shedden. A great drive from 23-year-old Sam Tordoff saw him score his maiden BTCC podium for the MG KX Momentum team, which along with Plato’s healthy points score means the squad is in charge of the Manufacturer standings.
 
The final race also included a huge accident when Dave Newsham spun his Toyota Avensis on the dip between Paddock and the run up to Druids. Austin attempted to take avoiding action but clipped Newsham’s stricken car on his way through. Austin’s Audi ran on to the grass at high speed before making heavy impact with the barrier on the inside of the circuit. Both drivers emerged unscathed from the dramatic incident.
 
The Jack Sears Trophy – for S2000 cars – is led by Liam Griffin after the Addison Lee Motorbase driver claimed two wins in his Ford Focus. James Kaye was the inaugural victor having won the first race in the AmDTuning.com VW Golf.
 
It was Jason Plato who left Kent with the biggest smile as the double-champion holds a nine-point lead in the standings over Jordan. Tordoff’s maiden podium and two top-six finishes mean he lies third in the championship, followed by the consistent Smith and race three victor Neal. The BTCC battle is rejoined at Donington Park in Leicestershire on 20-21 April.
 
Jason Plato said: “I am delighted with the first two wins. Last year was a sign of what might have come for us at MG – but we’ve changed the balance considerably now so it’s much easier to drive. It has been a good weekend.”

Matt Neal said: “I’m really chuffed with the one-two after what’s been a tough weekend, but they always say to finish on a high. It was a nice way to finish the race in Honda formation – it reminded me of the last race of last season.”
 
Penalties: Frank Wrathall (Dynojet) was fined £1000 and given three penalty points on his competition licence for incidents in race two.

 
2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Brands Hatch Indy – Provisional Results
 
Race 1
1 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) 27 Laps

2 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) +2.168 

3 Rob Austin (WIX Racing) +6.130

4 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +7.781

5 Jeff Smith (Pirtek Racing) +8.245

6 Frank Wrathall (Dynojet) +13.622

 
Race 2
1 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) 49.124

2 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) +0.989

3 Jeff Smith (Pirtek Racing) +4.958

4 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) +5.073

5 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +5.454

6 Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing) +5.874
 
Race 3
1 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) 27 laps

2 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) +0.083

3 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +1.216

4 Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing) +2.171

5 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) +3.651

6 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) +4.727
 
2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Provisional Driver Standings – after 3 of 30 rounds
 
1 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) 54 points

2 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) 45
3 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) 40

4 Jeff Smith (Pirtek Racing) 35
5 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) 34

6 Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing) 32
[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/03-31-13f1weekly621.mp3]

BTCC

BTCC 2013 Grid

BUMPER BTCC GRID GEARS UP FOR SEASON OPENER – UK’s premier motor racing championship roars into Brands Hatch

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship roars into Brands Hatch, Kent, this weekend (30/31 March) for the opening round of the 2013 season.
 
Fresh from confirming a record – and capacity – 32-car grid and a new television broadcasting deal with ITV that takes live coverage up to at least 2017, the BTCC is leading a bright new era of touring car racing. Adding to the anticipation of the new campaign is the fact that there’ll be four champions on the grid, with returning 2009 victor Colin Turkington joining reigning champion Gordon Shedden and multiple title winners Matt Neal and Jason Plato.
 
In total an incredible 13 models from 11 different marques are entered, including both Honda and MG as official Manufacturer teams, with no fewer than 26 of the unprecedented number entering with the BTCC’s latest NGTC-spec machinery.
 
A further addition to the championship is the introduction of a new ‘soft’ tyre compound from Dunlop – similar to those used in Formula 1 – which will see drivers in NGTC-spec cars having one set at their disposal over the weekend. These tyres will offer a variation in performance to the standard compound tyre and must be used in one of the three races at each event. Teams must nominate, prior to Saturday’s qualifying session, which particular race they elect to use them. Drivers in the older S2000 machines will also still have plenty to play for as they contest the inaugural Jack Sears Trophy throughout the 2013 season.
 
Brands Hatch is steeped in motor sport tradition and has seen its fair share of BTCC history created over the years, none more recently than when Gordon Shedden claimed the 2012 title on the legendary Grand Prix circuit last October. The 2013 season kicks off on the Indy configuration of the circuit, however, and the statistics do not fair well for reigning champion Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing Team), as the Scotsman has never won a BTCC race at Brands.
 
The master of the tight and twisty 1.2 miles of tarmac is Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing), with the double champ having won no fewer than 12 rounds there during his career. Unsurprisingly Plato is closely followed by triple champion and title rival Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing Team), on 10 wins, and Neal will be aiming to gun down Plato’s record this weekend.
 
On the subject of title contenders, the return of Colin Turkington to the BTCC created huge interest over the winter. The Irishman is reunited with West Surrey Racing – who he raced for during his 2009 championship winning campaign – but this time he’ll be driving in an all-new BMW 125i M Sport under the eBay Motors banner.
 
Independents’ Champion Andrew Jordan is another who’ll be aiming for overall honours this year in his Pirtek Racing Honda Civic, and there’ll be huge local interest, too, with Airwaves Racing also targeting the title. Mat Jackson leads the driver line-up for the Wrotham-based squad, with the 2008 BTCC runner-up looking to go one better this season. Other local teams gunning for glory this weekend are Dartford’s Team HARD. and West Thurrock outfit AmDTuning.com.
 
The event is always one of the region’s biggest sporting events of the year, with the weekend getting underway with two practice sessions and qualifying on the Saturday. A huge crowd is then expected to brave the chilly conditions currently blanketing the nation for the hugely exciting triple-header of races on Sunday. For those that cannot make the event – ITV4 HD will be broadcasting more than six hours of live coverage throughout the day from 10:45am.
 
A stellar cast will also support the BTCC over the weekend, producing no fewer than 12 further races, arguably led by the return of single-seater formula racing to the bill. The Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain, which launched the careers of a host of top drivers including Ayrton Senna and Jenson Button, will provide three races across the weekend, as will the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup, whilst Porsche Carrera Cup GB, Renault UK Clio Cup and Ginetta Junior Championship will all enjoy double-headers.
 
With advanced bookings now closed, Saturday is priced at £13 for adults and £10 for Senior Citizens on the gate. Sunday tickets are priced at adults £31 and Senior Citizens £20. Admission for accompanied children aged 12 and under is FREE all weekend. All admission includes access to Sunday morning’s autograph session with the BTCC drivers in the pit lane as well as free parking. Brands Hatch will also have big screens in place for fans to keep fully abreast of all the action via ITV4’s live race day broadcast.