Pat Cranham, BTCC correspondent
After a nightmare opening weekend Gordon Shedden has bounced back to take a double victory in rounds 4, 5 and 6 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship for Honda Yuasa Racing. Mat Jackson for Redstone Racing took the first victory of the day and he also thought he had taken victory in race 3 before being excluded post race. This promoted Shedden to victory even though he crossed the line in third but was promoted yet further due to contact which we will get to later.
Following the chaos of the opening weekend the first two races of the day provided good racing but without much incident; however that all changed in race 3 of the day. The biggest casualty from race 3 was Matt Neal in the other Honda Yuasa Racing Civic who ended up in the gravel. Up until then it had looked like a good day for the reigning BTCC champion as his arch-rival Jason Plato failed to finish race 2 in the MG after contact with another driver and he was going into the final race of the day with a healthy points lead.
In race 3 that all changed with Neal’s DNF whilst Plato produced a stunning drive through the field to take 2nd on the road behind Jackson. However he was penalised two seconds after contact with Shedden at the final corner. With no weight on the car following his DNF in race 2 Plato carved his way through the field and had been challenging Shedden who was carrying full ballast for the last few laps. With the cars heading down to the final chicane Plato was glued to the Honda’s rear bumper nudging him in to the chicane. Both cars went through the gravel with Plato even passing the Scot whilst in the gravel to take second before his demotion to third which then turned into second yet again with Jackson’s exclusion. This was also great news for Tony Gilham who, as a result, claimed his first ever podium driving last year’s Honda Civic belonging to Shedden for his own team, Team Hard.
Plato now leads Neal 84 points to 80.
For a full race report please log back onto Motorsport.com for an in-depth account of all three races.