British Touring Car Championship
Silverstone - Race 3 Report - 18/9/16
With the number 8 ball being drawn for the reverse grid, the final race of the day from Silverstone found Halfords Yuasa Racing's Gordon Shedden in pole position in his Honda Civic Type R alongside the Team JCT600 with GardX BMW 125i M Sport of Rob Collard. Mat Jackson and Jason Plato started on row 2 with Colin Turkington and Tom Ingram on row 3 and Adam Morgan and Andrew Jordan on row 4. Aiden Moffat and Hunter Abbott started on row 5 with championship leader Sam Tordoff and Michael Epps on row 6.
Rob Collard took the lead from Gordon Shedden into the first corner with Mat Jackson attempting the same move in his Motorbase Performance Ford Focus, however Shedden retained 2nd place despite Jackson's best efforts. On lap 2, Shedden took the lead from Collard with a spectacular pass, leaving Collard to defend from the advances of Jackson. The three then extended a slender lead over the rest of the field with Jackson passing Collard for 2nd place on lap 3. Shedden then started to build a gap from Jackson and by lap 5 was over 1 second ahead whilst behind, Silverline Subaru BMR Racing's Jason Plato was challenging Collard for 3rd place.
Lap 7 and Matt Neal was gradually gaining places but so too was championship rival Sam Tordoff. On lap 9, Neal was putting pressure on Adam Morgan for 9th place and on lap 10 succeeded in taking the position while Morgan subsequently lost another place to Aiden Moffat in the Laser Tools Racing Mercedes Benz A-Class. By lap 12, Tordoff was up to 7th place after passing Andrew Jordan. Meanwhile out in front, Gordon Shedden was extending his lead which, by the end of lap 13, was over 1.5 seconds. Behind Shedden, the battle for 2nd place was growing between Mat Jackson, Rob Collard and Jason Plato.
Matt Neal gained another place on lap 14 while WIX Racing's Adam Morgan was given a drive-through penalty for exceeding the track limits. On lap 15, Tom Ingram's Speedworks Motorsport Toyota slowed down and returned to the pits, moving Colin Turkington up to 5th behind team-mate Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff up to 6th. Tordoff started to look for a way past the Silverline Subaru BMR Racing Levorg GTs however he was being hunted down by Matt Neal who wanted to close the points gap in the championship standings. Neal managed to pass Tordoff for 6th place on lap 20.
Jason Plato looked set for a 4th place finish however a puncture on the final lap sent him wide and out of contention. At the chequered flag it was a well-deserved victory for defending BTCC Drivers' Champion Gordon Shedden with Mat Jackson 2nd and Rob Collard 3rd. Colin Turkington finished 4th with Matt Neal 5th and Sam Tordoff 6th. Josh Cook, Andrew Jordan, Aiden Moffat and Ashley Sutton completed the top 10.
Despite a less than perfect weekend, Sam Tordoff extended his lead in the Drivers' Championship standings to 11points while Gordon Shedden moves up to 2nd, just 2 points ahead of team-mate Matt Neal in 3rd with Rob Collard just 4 points further adrift. With 67 points on offer from the last meeting of the year, the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship is set for a thrilling climax to the 2016 season which will be held at the fabulous Brands Hatch circuit in Kent on the 1st and 2nd of October. Don't miss this event - it is likely to be one of the most closely contested season finales of recent years.
Published 18 September 2016