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Shedden leads Honda 1-2, Aron Smith puts BKR on the BTCC podium

Sunday, April 03 2016

Reigning champion Gordon Shedden led a Honda 1-2 in the second round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch today (Sunday).

Tom Ingram got another great start, but Rob Collard's was even better and he beat the Hondas into Paddock Hill. Matt Neal even had to fend off Josh Cook's MG. Collard then challenged Ingram at Paddock Hill on lap two, and the pair collided. They collided again at Druids, spinning Collard, and with Ingram soon limping, Shedden took the lead as the safety car appeared.

Shedden made a great restart, whilst behind him both MGs were suffering, as Andrew Jordan and Mat Jackson passed Ashley Sutton and Aron Smith demoted Cook. The Motorbase Fords then mugged Cook along the main straight and into Paddock Hill to claim fourth and fifth positions.

There was a huge battle for tenth place, where Jake Hill was defending from Sam Tordoff and Jeff Smith. Not far behind them, Jason Plato and Colin Turkington were inching their Subarus towards the top ten, the Northern Irishman passing his team-mate from a back-of-the-grid start.

Hill's race ended early when his Toyota slowed, whilst ahead of him, Jack Goff took eighth place from Adam Morgan and set after the MGs. He quickly caught them and with fluid on the track at Graham Hill bend, passed both. The track also caught out Turkington, and Mat Jackson, who rejoined just ahead of Goff. Sutton tried to attack Goff, but couldn't regain the place.

Ahead of all of this, Shedden claimed his first victory of the year, leading Neal in a Honda 1-2, with Aron Smith an excellent third place for debutants BKR. Jordan and Jackson scored good points for Motorbase, whilst Sutton passed Goff for sixth at the end. The top-placed Subarus finished 13th (Plato) and 20th (Turkington).

A delighted Shedden said: "It all got a bit congested and I thought I'd get collected, but I managed to make my way through and made my escape there. I think my car was better with ballast than it was without, so we'll have to have a look at that. To get a 1-2 for the Honda Type R, what a fantastic return for Halfords too."

An equally-pleased Smith remarked: "Hats off to BKR, it's been unbelievable, three weeks ago we weren't going to be racing here."

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Race Two
1, Gordon Shedden, Halfords Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic Type R, 26 Laps
2, Matt Neal, Halfords Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic Type R, +0.848s
3, Aron Smith, BKR, VW CC, +3.132s
4, Andrew Jordan, Motorbase Performance, Ford Focus, +4.165s
5, Mat Jackson, Motorbase, Ford Focus, +7.176s
6, Ashley Sutton, MG Racing RCIB Insurance, MG6 GT, +8.647s
7, Jack Goff, Team IHG Rewards Club, BMW 125i M-Sport, +9.682s
8, Adam Morgan, WIX Racing, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, +10.076s
9, Sam Tordoff, Team JCT600 with GuardX, BMW 125i M-Sport, +10.395s
10, Jeff Smith, Eurotech Racing, Honda Civic Type R, +10.588s

The final BTCC race of the day will take place at 5:12pm. With number nine drawn from the reverse-grid draw, Sam Tordoff will start from pole position.

On 14/15 April Brands Hatch will host the opening rounds of the British GT Championship and rounds 4,5 and 6 of the BRDC British F3 Championship. Tickets are available in advance from £19, with free entry for under-13s. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.