BTCC 2015 race report: Brands Hatch – Shedden crowned champion in dramatic finale
Shedden fought through the field to claim his second BTCC title
Shedden stages dramatic last-race fightback to win his second title; Plato secures second inside the standings
Gordon Shedden had to stage a dramatic fight through the field inside the closing race to secure the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch.
The Scot’s sole title rival at the end of Sunday’s schedule, Jason Plato, moved into the lead at the start of the final race of the day, along with also the Volkswagen CC driver also posted the fastest lap, meaning which Shedden needed to finish fifth or better to secure the title. The Honda Civic Type R driver didn’t have success ballast to worry about, yet he did start the closing race in 19th position on the grid, so he had to make the most of any weight or performance advantage to claim the crown.
inside the end Shedden’s team-mate, Matt Neal, deployed a clever move by attacking Jack Goff inside the closing stages; which, in turn, allowed Adam Morgan along with also Mat Jackson to get involved, along with also brought the recovering Shedden into play as well. Neal eventually backed off enough to allow Shedden some breathing space – along with also inside the meantime Sam Tordoff took fastest lap off Plato, granting the 2012 title winner a slightly more comfortable run to a second championship success.
The opening race of the day saw Jackson converting a pole position into a race win for the third meeting in succession. The Motorbase Ford Focus driver had to cope which has a couple of safety car periods, yet he always had Aron Smith’s Team BMR Volkswagen CC under control along with also he eventually took the victory by just under a second.
Smith claimed second place, ahead of Morgan’s Mercedes A Class – along with also the first of the title protagonists, Colin Turkington. The Northern Irishman was almost four seconds off the top spot at the finish, yet he at least had the satisfaction of beating BMR team-mate Plato by almost two seconds – along with also with Shedden only managing sixth, the two VW CC drivers inched closer inside the title race.
The second outing of the day closed things up further inside the points standings, as Shedden failed to score any points at all. Jackson was triumphant again, coping superbly with 75kg of success ballast on his Focus to beat Tom Ingram’s Toyota along with also Morgan’s A Class after the three circulated closely through start to finish.
Shedden’s race commenced badly, as he dropped through 13th on the grid to 16th after a cautious opening lap – along with also while a safety car period offered him the chance to make up more places, locking brakes – the legacy of some early contact – meant which he actually slid further down the order, eventually finishing 19th.
His sole comfort was which while Plato – who benefited through the BMR team telling Aron Smith to move out of his way at mid-distance – claimed sixth to move in on his points lead with one particular race remaining, the additional CC of Turkington exited the title race altogether. A puncture on the last lap ruined the 2014 champion’s chances.
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