Brands Hatch BTCC: Shedden wins race two amid late drama

Gordon Shedden took victory in the second race of the 2016 BTCC season in what looked like a calm Sunday drive for the reigning champion at Brands Hatch.

Brands Hatch BTCC: Shedden wins race two amid late drama
Gordon Shedden, Halfords Yuasa Racing
Hunter Abbott, Power Maxed Racing
Jason Plato, Subaru Team BMR
Matt Neal, Halfords Yuasa Racing
Gordon Shedden, Honda Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R
Jason Plato, Subaru Team BMR
Gordon Shedden, Honda Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R
Warren Scott, Subaru Team BMR
Sam Tordoff, WIX Racing

A lightning start from Rob Collard saw the BMW driver jump from sixth to second off the line.

Collrd went for the lead the following lap at Paddock Hill Bend, but some door handle-to-door handle racing between he and poleman Tom Ingram left the BMW in the middle of the track at Druids, damaging the Toyota Avensis in the process.

Shedden inherited the lead as Ingram began to drop down the order with his suspension damage, but the safety car was deployed on the next lap for a stranded Chris Smiley on the entrance to Graham Hill Bend.

Shedden got the jump on teammate Matt Neal at the restart, while behind the Honda duo Josh Cook and Aron Smith duelled for the final podium place, while Andrew Jordan, Mat Jackson and Ashley Sutton battled for fifth.

The Motorbase Performance Ford Focuses were in fine form, as the pair carved their way past both Triple Eight Racing MGs.

Jordan and Jackson then charged forward, hunting down the leading trio, but could not find a way past Team BKR’s Aron Smith.

With just four laps to go drama ensued as drivers began running wide at Graham Hill Bend, suggesting fluid had been left on the circuit.

The fluid had not been cleared by the time the leaders came through and it began catching out a number of top drivers, including both MGs - with Cook sliding as far as to nudge the tyre barrier -Jackson and Colin Turkington's Subaru.

Sutton recovered from his sideways moment to retain sixth at the finish line, followed by Jack Goff, Adam Morgan, Sam Tordoff and Jeff Smith rounding out the top 10.

Aiden Moffat added an 11th place finish to his tally for the day, while Dan Welch took his second points scoring finish of the meeting, the first time he’s had two points scoring finishes since 2013.

Jason Plato scored Subaru’s first ever BTCC points with a 13th place finish, with Rob Austin and Hunter Abbott rounding out the points scoring places.

Turkington looked like he would be the top scoring Team BMR driver before the fluid at Graham Hill Bend caught him out and plummeted him down the order.

Team HARD’s Jake Hill looked like he was on for a potential top 10 result, but a mechanical failure forced him to pull over at the side of the track with just 10 laps to go.

Ninth place man Tordoff is on pole for race three after the reverse grid draw, ahead of Morgan and Goff.

Race 2 results (Top 10):

Pos. Driver  Car Time/Gap 
 Gordon Shedden Honda 22'27.048 
 Matt Neal Honda 0.848
 Aron Smith Volkswagen 3.132
 Andrew Jordan Ford 4.165
 Mat Jackson Ford 7.176
 Ashley Sutton MG 8.647
 Jack Goff BMW 9.682
 Adam Morgan Mercedes 10.076
 Sam Tordoff BMW 10.395
10   Jeff Smith Honda 10.588

James Charman / TouringCarTimes

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