British Touring Car Championship
Brands Hatch (GP) - Race 3 Report - 2/10/16
After 29 of the 30 rounds of the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, there were still four drivers who could claim the crown so it all came down to the final race of a season which started way back in April here at Brands Hatch in Kent. The scenario was simple: Sam Tordoff, leading the championship by 2 points, had only to stay ahead of Gordon Shedden, Colin Turkington and Matt Neal to take the title. Fate dealt Matt Neal a cruel blow when he was denied the chance to compete in the final race on medical grounds following a nasty crash in race 2 which left him with concussion.
On the grid, Sam Tordoff held all the cards, starting 3rd behind Mat Jackson and Aiden Moffat, but crucially ahead of his rivals Gordon Shedden who was 5th and Colin Turkington back in 7th. As the lights went out to start the race, the top three were able to make a clean break but on lap 3 Tordoff started to come under pressure from Josh Cook and as the two battled, it enabled Gordon Shedden to close up on the pair and the title battle was well and truly on.
On lap 4, Gordon Shedden upped the championship stakes by getting past the MG of Josh Cook and then set off after Sam Tordoff like a man possessed. All still looked to be going well for Tordoff until a Safety Car period for the stricken Subaru of Warren Scott closed the field up. When the Safety Car pulled in, Tordoff found his mirrors full of the bright orange Honda of Gordon Shedden and with an air of inevitability, Shedden took the lead on lap 7. As the race progressed, Adam Morgan managed to pass Tordoff and all hope was gone for the young BMW driver.
Colin Turkington wasn't able to mount a forceful challenge in the race due to the fact that he was carrying maximum success ballast of 75kg from race two and with the cars around him carrying virtually no ballast he was effectively hamstrung. Up at the front it was a well-deserved win for Mat Jackson and a highest ever finish for Aiden Moffat in 2nd, however all eyes were on Gordon Shedden who leapt from his car, posed on its roof for the cameras and then hugged just about everyone in delight at his 3rd Drivers' Championship title.
Andrew Jordon won the Independents' Trophy in his Ford Focus after collecting points for finishing 11th and Ashley Sutton claimed the Jack Sears Trophy for top rookie of the year in his MG. WSR won the Manufacturers/Constructors Championship with their BMW's, Team JCT600 with GardX won the HiQ Teams Championship and Motorbase Performance claimed the Independents Team Trophy.
The year ended in dramatic style for the massive crowd and the celebrations will last long into the night. Look out soon for our two part review of the season and we'll keep you up to date of all the BTCC news as soon as we have it!
Published 2 October 2016