Shedden leads home Honda 1-2 in Thruxton opener

Gordon Shedden took another win for the new Honda Civic Type-R in dominant style in the opening BTCC race at Thruxton, as Matt Neal made it a one-two for the Japanese marque.

Starting from second on the grid, Shedden made a clean launch to move ahead of poleman Aron Smith as the lights went out, the BMR Volkswagen man bogging down with too much wheelspin.

Neal was able to move into second ahead of the Irishman as the pack arrived at the complex for the first time, and that was where the two Honda drivers would remain for the rest of the race, Shedden quickly establishing a two second cushion out front that he would more or less maintain to the finish.

Smith continued to pressurise Neal in the opening laps, himself being chased hard by Adam Morgan’s Mercedes, but a podium finish went begging when his Volkswagen CC suffered a front-left puncture at around two-thirds distance.

That promoted Morgan to third, unable to do anything to catch the rampant Hondas after Smith’s demise, with Jason Plato inheriting a lonely fourth – but securing pole position for race two by virtue of setting the quickest lap of the race.

Behind, the action was frenetic in the closing laps as an error by lead MG driver Jack Goff triggered an intense scrap for the lower points-paying positions.

Having moved up into fifth following Smith’s puncture, Goff was under pressure from BMR’s Colin Turkington, and clattered over the kerbs at Club chicane on the penultimate lap, costing both himself and the reigning champion precious momentum.

That allowed Andy Priaulx’s WSR BMW, which had run as high as fifth early on before dropping back, to jump the pair of them to claim fifth at the chequered flag, with Goff’s teammate Andrew Jordan also taking advantage to move up into sixth.

Turkington wound up seventh, ahead of Goff, who held off a stern challenge from Josh Cook’s Chevrolet on the final lap. Tom Ingram (Speedworks Toyota) claimed the final point in tenth narrowly ahead of Sam Tordoff’s WSR BMW, with the team’s third car of Rob Collard slumping to 13th.

Martin Donnelly took a lonely 20th place finish on his BTCC debut for the Support Our Paras Racing Infiniti team, one place ahead of a lapped Smith, who was able to resume after pitting to replace his punctured tyre.

Race results:

Pos Driver Car Time/Gap
Gordon Shedden Honda 21m05.473
Matt Neal Honda 1.016
Adam Morgan Mercedes 2.710
Jason Plato Volkswagen 9.866
Andy Priaulx BMW 12.047
Andrew Jordan MG 13.612
Colin Turkington Volkswagen 14.159
Jack Goff MG 15.631
Josh Cook Chevrolet 15.719
10  Tom Ingram Toyota 15.977
11  Sam Tordoff BMW 16.207
12  Martin Depper Honda 18.876
13  Rob Collard BMW 21.127
14  Rob Austin Audi 21.835
15  Aiden Moffat Mercedes 26.963
16  Hunter Abbott Audi 28.210
17  Jeff Smith Honda 29.058
18  Warren Scott Volkswagen 41.090
19  Stewart Lines Toyota 50.467
20  Martin Donnelly Infiniti 57.888
21  Aron Smith Volkswagen 1 Lap
22  Andy Wilmot Proton 1 Lap
23  Derek Palmer Jr. Infiniti 1 Lap
24  Kieran Gallagher Toyota 2 Laps
Ret Dave Newsham Volkswagen -

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About this article
Series BTCC
Event Thruxton
Track Thruxton
Drivers Matt Neal , Gordon Shedden , Aron Taylor-Smith , Adam Morgan
Teams Team Dynamics
Article type Race report