Shedden and Jordan claim a victory apiece before Turkington scores memorable win at Donington Park
Former champion Colin Turkington made a popular return to the top step of the BTCC podium in the final race at Donington Park after the Hondas of Gordon Shedden and Andrew Jordan shared the spoils in the opening two contests.
It was also an historic day for multiple champions Matt Neal and Jason Plato who both contested their 500th and 400th BTCC races respectively.
The racing headlines belonged to Turkington, however, after he blasted by pole-sitter Tom Onslow-Cole’s VW Passat off the line and immediately pulled clear in the reversed-grid race three. He eventually romped to the win, which also marked the maiden victory for the new eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport and Turkington's first since his 2009 title winning campaign. Shedden and Neal completed the podium after the duo muscled past the MG of Sam Tordoff on the final lap.
Having scored his first pole position for nearly two years in Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session, Honda Yuasa Racing’s Shedden stormed to a lights-to-flag win in the opening race. Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan kept him honest throughout and eventually finished the race less than half a second behind the reigning champion. Worcestershire driver Neal finished third to secure a 1-2-3 for Honda.
Neal and Plato completed their milestone encounters in race two with the cars carrying the one-off race numbers of 500 and 400 to celebrate their respective achievements. It was Staffordshire racer Jordan, however, who continued his stellar start to the season by taking the win at his home circuit. Plato finished second ahead of Shedden and Neal.
The other standout driver in the field at Donington Park was Ciceley Racing’s Adam Morgan, who hauled his Toyota Avensis to three top five finishes.
Plato maintains his lead in the driver standings with the gap back to Jordan standing at five points. A total of 20 points cover the top five order, which are rounded out by Neal, Tordoff and Shedden. MG KX Momentum lead the teams’ championship, ahead of Honda Yuasa Racing and Pirtek Racing. eBay Motors has improved to fourth in the standings thanks to Turkington’s outstanding victory.
Colin Turkington said: “Obviously I’m delighted with the result of the final race. I knew that the start was going to be critical and that if I got into the lead, I could try and break away from the cars behind. That’s exactly what I managed to do, and it was fantastic to get the win. This is a great reward for the guys who have worked so hard over the past six months to get the three cars built and ready for this season and I feel we’ve made a step forward this weekend. Hopefully this victory can be a springboard for us.”
Gordon Shedden said: “We managed the gap in the first race, kept it sensible and brought the car home for a good win. It was a good victory and overall it was nice to secure a solid points haul after a bit of a mixed time at Brands Hatch in the last round.”
Andrew Jordan said: “The home crowd gave me a lot of support here this weekend. Matt and Jason obviously won at Brands and then Gordon won the first one here, so I thought it was time I got myself on the top step of the podium. The car has just been fantastic all weekend. Everyone talks about Plato, Neal and Shedden, but we’re not surprised by our pace and we consider ourselves as championship contenders.”
Matt Neal said: “It has been a special day for me. Of course you always want race wins but I’ve been around long enough to know that you can’t have it all your own way all the time. We scored some good points and to compete in my 500th race at my home circuit was fantastic.”
Penalties: The following drivers received two penalty points and an official reprimand for incidents relating to driving standards: Rob Collard, Andrew Jordan, Aron Smith, Jeff Smith.