Tag Archives: Gordon Shedden

BTCC

SCOTLAND’S GORDON SHEDDEN CROWNED 2012 BTCC CHAMPION AT BRANDS HATCH

Matt Neal and first-time winners Aron Smith and Frank Wrathall shared the victories in today’s final three races of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season on a wet Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit. But it is Gordon Shedden who tonight leaves the world-famous Kent venue as the newly crowned 2012 Champion. Shedden, from Fife, becomes the first Scottish driver to lift the most coveted prize in UK motor sport since his own hero, John Cleland, in 1995…

 
Furthermore, drivers and teams using Honda’s Civic model have achieved a clean sweep of all five BTCC titles. In addition to Shedden, Andrew Jordan today collected the Independent Drivers Trophy, Honda/Dynamics the Manufacturers/Constructors Championship and the Honda Yuasa Racing Team and Pirtek Racing the outright HiQ and Independent teams’ trophies respectively. Tom Onslow-Cole’s eBay Motors BMW had taken pole position in Saturday’s dry qualifying session. But in today’s first race he could only finish third behind Neal and Jordan in their Civics. Shedden took fifth and closest challenger at that point, MG KX Momentum Racing’s Jason Plato, eighth.

In race two Dubliner Smith was in unstoppable form en route to his maiden BTCC race win in Redstone Racing’s Ford Focus, but second place and the fastest lap for Shedden was enough for him to put the title out of his rivals’ reach. Out-going Champion Neal was third to move back up to second in the standings past Plato who finished in fifth.

Similarly, the day’s third race, the last of the season, was also won in emphatic style by Wrathall whose victory was the first for himself, his small family-run Dynojet team and Toyota’s Avensis model. Taking second, third and fourth in a spectacular line-abreast, Honda formation finish were Neal, Shedden and Jordan.

 
For Shedden, being crowned BTCC Champion is a boyhood dream come true. The 33-year-old from Dalgety Bay commented: “All I ever wanted as a kid was to race touring cars – it was never about F1 – and it was John Cleland who was my hero when I used to go and catch a glimpse of the BTCC at my home track of Knockhill in Fife. I never thought I’d ever get the chance to race them, though, let alone win a race and now I’m the Champion. It is mind blowing… what a season, not just for myself but everyone at Honda. I’d also like to thank everyone who was cheering for me back home in Scotland today – including in the bar at Knockhill! I can’t wait to get home and celebrate with them.”
 
Shedden’s Worcestershire team-mate Neal, who has finished second in the standings, said: “Gordon has driven superbly all season, has amassed the most wins and massively deserves to be Champion. As a team we all pull together at Honda and the Civic has simply been the class of the field all year. A clean sweep of titles is the perfect result.” Oxford’s Plato, third in the final table, added: “I’m here to win so I’m obviously disappointed it’s not gone our way but, that said, the MG KX Momentum Racing team are still winners – we have far exceeded our expectations in MG’s first season back in the BTCC and will return much stronger for 2013.”

Meanwhile Lichfield’s Jordan was ecstatic. He beamed: “For Pirtek Racing to win both the Independent drivers’ and teams’ titles is terrific. We are growing all the time as a team of people and have had to beat rival teams and drivers of real quality.”

 
Similarly delighted were both Smith and Wrathall. Smith said: “Off the back of my first podium result at Silverstone two weeks ago, to now end my debut season in the BTCC with a first win is unbelievable.” And added Wrathall: “It’s a fantastic achievement for a small team like ours in only its second season at this level – we’d already had seconds and thirds and a pole position but a win means we’ve now ticked all the boxes.”
 
Elsewhere, race officials today punished one driver for an on-track indiscretion. Race 1: Andy Neate, official reprimand, fined £500 and three penalty points on his competition licence for an incident involving Frank Wrathall.

BTCC

PLATO & JACKSON SHARE WINS AT SILVERSTONE TO
SET UP FOUR-WAY BRANDS HATCH TITLE-DECIDER
 
Jason Plato, with two wins, and Mat Jackson shared the victories in three astonishing Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races in front of a mammoth 30,000 crowd at the Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire today. Ultimately four drivers – Gordon Shedden, Plato, Matt Neal and Andrew Jordan – will go into the 2012 season’s final three races, on Brands Hatch’s legendary Grand Prix circuit in a fortnight (20/21 October), with a chance of being crowned Champion of Britain’s premier motor racing series.
 
After achieving his fifth pole position of the year – also his third in a row – with a qualifying lap record on Saturday, Oxford’s Plato went on to win today’s first race in his MG KX Momentum Racing MG6, but only after Jackson’s Redstone Racing Ford Focus cruelly retired from the lead with just a few laps to go.
 
Finishing second and third were Inverness’s Dave Newsham in his Team ES Racing.com Vauxhall Vectra and, with his first podium result, Jackson’s team-mate Aron Smith from Dublin. Fife’s Shedden took seventh in his Honda Yuasa Racing Team Honda Civic but Worcestershire team-mate Neal and Lichfield’s Jordan, in his Pirtek Racing Civic, both retired.
 
Warwickshire’s Jackson then won race two ahead of Hook’s Robert Collard (eBay Motors BMW) and Newsham with a quite incredible drive from 17th on the grid, this time after Plato retired from the lead. Jackson also set a new race lap record as he notched up the first victory for his squad’s NGTC-spec Focus. Shedden was again seventh with Jordan ninth while Neal suffered another retirement when his car spectacularly caught fire.
 
It was then Plato’s turn to wow the crowds as he came through from 20th to win race three ahead of Jackson and Collard. Shedden was sixth and Jordan seventh but, almost unbelievably, reigning Champion Neal retired again, this time after being forced off the track into a barrier.
 
As a result, Shedden still leads the table by 15 points from Plato who has moved past Neal into second overall. Neal is 31 behind Shedden and Jordan 61 adrift with a possible maximum of 67 still available from ‘Finals Day’.
 
An ecstatic Plato commented: “Despite the retirement in race two this is still one of the best days in my BTCC career. We’ve made more progress with our MG6 – in fact it’s a rocketship – and our tails are well and truly in the air. For MG to go into the final round with a chance of lifting the title in its first year back in the championship is fantastic and I really believe we’ve got the Honda boys worried.”
 
Shedden, from Dalgety Bay and who is aiming to become Scotland’s first BTCC Champion since John Cleland in 1995, said: “We knew this was going to be our bogey circuit so today was about picking up what crumbs we could – I don’t think we could have wrung any more out of the car. I expect us to be fully back on song at Brands Hatch which has got lots of high-speed corners where our Civic comes into its own. I’d take points in the bag any day and I’m feeling good about our chances.” Neal added: “Today has been a shocker but I’m not out of it yet – there are still a lot of points to be won at Brands and I’ll be going there with all guns blazing. Jason’s MG will be strong there and our main objective is to get a Honda over the line in first. Gordon is obviously better placed to do that so is the priority…”

 
Jordan will also go to Brands still with a healthy lead in the Independent Drivers Championship, although can still be caught by Collard, Jackson and eBay Motors’ Tom Onslow-Cole. He admitted: “Let’s be realistic. There’s no way the outright championship is possible so my focus will be to stay ahead of my Independent rivals. Rob has effectively halved the gap to 28 points but there are only 60 left at Brands and our car will be much stronger there.”
 
Jackson was delighted with his results today which marked his return to the podium since Thruxton in April. “A win from 17th, a second and a new lap record in a car that is still only two months old and it could have been two wins… I couldn’t be happier for everyone in my team,” he said.
 
Elsewhere Honda/Dynamics is all but assured the coveted Manufacturers/Constructors title. Similarly the Honda Yuasa Racing Team is a red hot favourite to retain the outright HiQ Teams Championship although can still be caught by eBay Motors. But it will be a three-way fight for the Independent Teams Trophy at Brands between new leader eBay Motors, Pirtek Racing and Redstone Racing – just ten points cover the trio with a potential 60 up for grabs in the finale.
 
Meanwhile a number of drivers were punished today by BTCC officials for on-track indiscretions. Race 1: Andy Neate, fined £500 and three penalty points on his competition licence for an incident with Andrew Jordan; Tony Gilham, official reprimand and two penalty points for an incident during a safety car period; Lea Wood, fined £500 and three penalty points for an incident with Liam Griffin. Race 3: Lea Wood, fined £500 and three penalty points for an incident with Matt Neal; Rob Austin, excluded from the results and four penalty points for an incident with Daniel Welch; Frank Wrathall, fined £500 and three penalty points for an incident with Dave Newsham; Andrew Jordan, received a verbal warning for making contact with another car.

BTCC

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

Little more than a week remains before Northamptonshire’s world-famous Silverstone circuit (Sat 6/Sun 7 Oct) hosts the crucial penultimate round of this year’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. The three races at Silverstone will decide who will then still be in with a chance of winning the UK’s most prestigious motor racing title on Finals Day at Brands Hatch in Kent a fortnight later.
Seven drivers can mathematically still be crowned BTCC Champion in 2012, namely Honda Yuasa Racing Team team-mates Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal who lead the way, MG KX Momentum Racing’s Jason Plato, Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan, eBay Motors pair Robert Collard and Tom Onslow-Cole and Redstone Racing’s Mat Jackson.
 
Arriving at Silverstone it is Hampshire’s Collard, Surrey’s Onslow-Cole and Warwickshire’s Jackson who will be most under pressure to perform if they are to keep their fading title hopes alive. All are presently more than 67 points adrift of leader Shedden with that then being the maximum available when the cars take to the legendary Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit for the season finale on the weekend of 20/21 October.
 
Of the four ahead, two wins for Scotsman Shedden last weekend at Rockingham, also in Northamptonshire, have moved him into the championship lead by three points from Worcestershire’s Neal. Shedden has never won the BTCC before while Neal is looking to retain his crown from last season – achieved when he defeated Shedden at Silverstone – and make it four titles to his name.
 
For Oxford’s Plato, himself a double BTCC Champion, Silverstone is very much his home event as it is for Lichfield youngster Jordan who, like Shedden and Neal, races a Honda Civic. All three Honda drivers, though, are expecting to struggle around Silverstone’s high-speed National circuit and Plato, in his MG6, will be hoping they are right.
 
Plato is currently 32 points behind Shedden with a maximum of 67 available from Silverstone’s three races. What’s more his MG team-mate Andy Neate, another local from nearby Aylesbury, will surely be out to aid Plato’s chances by stealing vital points away from his Honda rivals…
 
Silverstone’s short lap and long, wide straights never fail to deliver plenty of doorhandle-to-doorhandle entertainment for fans. Indeed the view from Woodcote corner of cars slipstreaming and fanning out five abreast along the Wellington Straight is one of the most evocative of the season.
 
As ever ‘the home of British motor sport’, easily accessible from across the Midlands just off the A43 dual carriageway between the M40 and M1 motorways, is making its big BTCC weekend hugely popular among audiences both young and old. Adult tickets for race day (Sunday) start from just £29 if booked in advance with admission for accompanied children aged 15 and under FREE all weekend. All admission includes access to grandstands, the main central BTCC teams’ paddock and Sunday’s specially organised autograph session with the star touring car drivers.
 
To book in advance visit www.silverstone.co.uk or call the ticket hotline 0844 3750 740.

BTCC

SHEDDEN TAKES CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD AFTER
SHARING WINS AT ROCKINGHAM WITH PLATO-

Jason Plato and Gordon Shedden shared the wins in today’s three exhilarating Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races at Northamptonshire’s Rockingham circuit. Two of the wins went the way of Scotsman Shedden who has now taken over the championship lead as the title race stays in the county for its penultimate three races of the season at Silverstone in a fortnight (6/7 October).
 
Plato had taken pole position with a new qualifying lap record on Saturday in his MG KX Momentum Racing MG6. He duly went on to dominate today’s first race, held in dry conditions, and set a new race lap record en route. Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan and Honda Yuasa Racing Team star Shedden were second and third in their Honda Civics.

But then conditions changed dramatically as heavy rain settled in for the rest of the day, this enabling Shedden and Neal to take a pair of dream 1-2 results for their team in both the second and third races. Plato finished behind them on each occasion in third.

 
As a result Shedden leaves Rockingham with a three-point lead over Neal. Plato is a further 29 behind with a maximum of 134 still available from the season’s final six races – three each at Silverstone in two weeks and Brands Hatch, Kent a fortnight later (Sun 21 Oct).
 
Dalgety Bay’s Shedden, who has now won eight times in 2012, commented: “I’m delighted – it seems ages since we won a race so to score a pair of 1-2s is just great for everyone in our team. The rain certainly helped us today as Jason had been looking very strong if it had stayed dry. Importantly we’ve maintained a decent gap to him as we’re expecting him to have the upper hand at Silverstone.”

Worcestershire’s Neal, the reigning Champion who has driven this weekend in pain from a broken hand, said: “I’m just pleased to get through the weekend. Gordon was unstoppable in those conditions but a pair of seconds and a sixth are probably better than I thought was possible. We’re expecting Silverstone to be tough but this really helps thinking ahead to Brands Hatch.”

 
Oxford’s Plato added: “We’ve managed to hold the gap to the Honda drivers, even take a little nibble out of them, at what is one of the strongest circuits for their car so I’m satisfied with that. Silverstone is going to be all-important, though – ultimately I want us to go to the final round so there’s a proper showdown for the people watching.”
 
Meanwhile Honda/Dynamics and the Honda Yuasa Racing Team continue to dominate the Manufacturer/Constructor and outright HiQ Teams championships respectively. Jordan has moved further clear at the top of the Independent Drivers Championship. And his Pirtek Racing squad has also regained the Independent Teams Trophy lead.
 
Elsewhere several drivers were punished by officials for on-track indiscretions today. Race 1: Jeff Smith, fined £500 and three penalty points on his competition licence following an incident with Aron Smith. Race 1: Matt Neal, verbal warning following an incident with Rob Austin. Race 2, Jason Plato, verbal warning for performing practice starts.

BTCC

TOURING CAR HEROES GOING FOR GOLD
AT NORFOLK’S SNETTERTON CIRCUIT
…There is now little less than a week to go before the UK’s premier motor racing championship – the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – resumes its 2012 season at the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk (Sat 11/Sun 12 August), thereby continuing the country’s sizzling summer of sport.

Like the finalists in an Olympic sprint, the BTCC’s star drivers will each want to be fastest out of the blocks as they return to action following a lengthy seven-week break in their calendar.
 
Snetterton’s BTCC event makes for the Anglia region’s biggest motor racing fixture of the year and it is little wonder that, with swift access from the A11 dual carriageway, a bumper crowd is anticipated. Traditional scorching hot weather also adds to the appeal for fans and families looking to make a carnival weekend of it with their tents and barbeques.
 
Honda team-mates Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden will arrive at Snetterton striving to maintain their championship lead ahead of their arch MG rival Jason Plato. Memorably 12 months ago the BTCC’s first race on Snetterton’s new ‘300’ track immediately got off to a controversial start when Neal was sent spinning at 120mph after an opening bend clash with Plato…
 
Meanwhile Attleborough’s Ollie Jackson will be hoping to shine in front of his home crowd in his AmD Tuning.com VW Golf but, with nine different car makes represented on the grid and 11 different drivers having achieved podium results in the season’s opening half, predicting who will come out on top at Snetterton is near impossible.
 
And while the headlining BTCC will be in race action three times on the Sunday (12 August), there are a further nine races for the supporting Renault Clio Cup, Porsche Carrera Cup GB, Ginetta Junior Championship and Ginetta GT Supercup categories in store for the visiting public during the weekend.

BTCC

WINS AT CROFT FOR NEAL, SHEDDEN &
PLATO –
 NEAL TAKES CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD
 
Matt Neal, Gordon Shedden and Jason Plato shared the wins in today’s three Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races at Croft Circuit which were full of incident, drama and controversy. It is Neal who tonight leaves the North Yorkshire venue leading the standings by just a point from Honda team-mate Shedden as the championship enters a lengthy summer break before resuming at Norfolk’s Snetterton circuit on the weekend of 11/12 August.
 
Worcestershire’s Neal set the fastest time in Saturday’s qualifying session to take pole position for the first of today’s races in his Honda Yuasa Racing Team Civic. He dropped to third at the start but fought back to win ahead of eBay Motors BMW driver Robert Collard and Shedden and take over at the top of the points table.
 
Fife’s Shedden then responded with victory in the second race to re-claim the championship lead. Neal took the runners-up spot to complete a 1-2 result for Honda – it was also the seventh win in a row for the Team Dynamics-prepared factory Civics. Behind, Rob Austin took his first podium result of the season in third in his Rob Austin Racing Audi A4.
 
Having missed the first race because of mechanical problems with his car, Oxford’s Plato, who hails from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, won race three to end a six-year wins drought in front of his ‘home crowd’. Tom Onslow-Cole’s eBay Motors BMW and Andrew Jordan’s Pirtek Racing Honda Civic were second and third.
 
Fourth place for Neal was enough to move him back ahead in the title race from Shedden who finished the race in sixth. Plato remains third in the standings, some 29 points – 20 are awarded per race win – adrift of Neal.
 
Neal’s win today was his fourth of the season and the reigning Champion commented: “I’m very pleased but all it does is give me the bragging rights for the next seven weeks before we get back to business. Plus maximum success ballast in my car for Snetterton! Our car, the Civic, is in a class of its own under braking and through the corners but we need to test during the break because Jason and Triple Eight Race Engineering who run the MG will come out all guns blazing in the second half of the season.”

Dalgety Bay’s Shedden, now with an unrivalled six wins in 2012, said: “I don’t mind being second at this stage – the lead is going to keep on changing hands all the way until Finals Day in October. It’s great to get another win but it’s all about scoring as well as possible in every race. I think I’ve achieved that today so job done.”

 
Double Champion Plato’s win was his second this year and he added: “Today’s win was crucial in making sure we keep the Hondas in sight but, as a team, we are still learning about the MG6. It’s important we manage our expectations but we have a few test days planned for the break and that will enable me to get more comfortable with the car and for the engineers to work their magic. I think we can still find another second per lap.”
 
Meanwhile Honda/Dynamics and the Honda Yuasa Racing Team have significantly increased their respective leads in the Manufacturers/Constructors and HiQ Teams championships. Jordan continues to lead the Independent Drivers Trophy but only just from Collard. eBay Motors has leapt from third to first in the Independent Teams Trophy ahead of Pirtek Racing which is just two points behind.
 
Elsewhere officials punished a number of drivers for on-track incidents during the weekend. Ollie Jackson received two penalty points on his competition licence and an official reprimand following an incident in race one involving Tony Gilham. Jackson was then handed the same penalty again after race three for an incident involving Chris James. Officials also took action after reviewing incidents in the third race at Oulton Park two weeks ago. Dave Newsham received two penalty points on his licence and an official reprimand for an incident involving Daniel Welch. Robert Collard was similarly punished for an incident involving Andrew Jordan and also received a verbal warning for a separate incident involving Mat Jackson. Will Bratt and Adam Morgan were given verbal warnings for an incident between them.