Sunday, October 21 2012
There was an air of celebration at Brands Hatch today (Sunday), as championships were decided on the Grand Prix circuit at the final round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship and its regular support races.
Gordon Shedden claimed his maiden BTCC crown after coming close on the previous two occasions, joining team mate Matt Neal on the roll of honour. Challenger Jason Plato was unable to make an impression on the Scot's title lead in the wet conditions, despite support in the pitlane from petrolhead DJ Chris Evans.
All I ever wanted as a kid was to race touring cars," said an emotional Shedden. "It was never about F1 - and it was John Cleland who was my hero. I never thought I'd ever get the chance to race them, though, let alone win a race and now I'm the Champion. It is mind-blowing!"
Meanwhile Andrew Jordan drew some consolation from missing out on the overall title by winning the Independents' trophy. The Pirtek Civic driver ran at the front in the opening two races and after Rob Collard crashed out of the second one, the chase was over.
Three Ginetta GT Supercup races saw Tom Sharp and Carl Breeze enter the round equal on points. The latter, who narrowly missed out on the title last year, enjoyed a strong weekend, however both engaged in thrilling battles with the rest of the field, with championship outsider Tom Ingram also in the mix.
Breeze and Sharp engaged in a nail-biting duel during the closing laps of race two in damp conditions. Breeze used all of his defensive driving experience to keep a train of cars, headed by his rival, behind. Ingram was also in the pack but lost out in the fight, whilst Andrew Richardson took advantage to pass all of them!
Ingram and Sharp staged a stunning duel during the early laps of the third and final encounter but Breeze ensured himself the title by finishing behind the pair.
The Ginetta Junior category for teenage racers provided superb entertainment and slipstreaming action. Charlie Robertson's hopes were nearly dashed at Silverstone, but two strong finishes were enough to hand him the championship.
In the Renault Clio Cup, Jack Goff looked to be losing points to multiple champion Paul Rivett before an early retirement for the latter in race one, which ran into dusk. Goff dropped a further two places to finish ninth but entered the last race with a useful lead.
Rivett fought back in the wet second race but was unable to catch Goff, let alone work on reducing the deficit. Therefore Goff became the 2012 champion as Stefan Hodgetts took a double win on the Grand Prix circuit.
The next major event at Brands Hatch is the Truck Superprix, which will end with a spectacular Fireworks display. Tickets are available from £17, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.