BTCC 2015 race report: Brands Hatch
Shedden fought through the field to claim his second BTCC title
Shedden stages dramatic last-race fightback to win his second title; Plato seconds second inside standings
Gordon Shedden had to stage a dramatic fight through the field inside closing race to secure the 2015 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, as well as also the Volkswagen CC driver also posted 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, nevertheless 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 end Shedden’s team-mate, Matt Neal, deployed a clever move by attacking Jack Goff inside closing stages; which, in turn, allowed Adam Morgan as well as also Mat Jackson to get involved, as well as also brought the recovering Shedden into play as well. Neal eventually backed off enough to allow Shedden some breathing space – as well as also inside 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 having a couple of safety car periods, nevertheless he always had Aron Smith’s Team BMR Volkswagen CC under control as well as also he eventually took the victory by just under a second.
Smith claimed second, ahead of Morgan’s Mercedes A-Class – as well as also the first of the title protagonists, Colin Turkington. The Northern Irishman was almost four seconds off the top spot at the finish, nevertheless he at least had the satisfaction of beating BMR team-mate Plato by almost two seconds – as well as also with Shedden only managing sixth, the two VW CC drivers inched closer inside title race.
The second outing of the day closed things up further inside 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 as well as also Morgan’s A-Class after the three circulated closely through start to finish.
Shedden’s race began badly, as he dropped through 13th on the grid to 16th after a cautious opening lap. as well as 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 1 race remaining, the some other CC of Turkington exited the title race altogether. A puncture on the last lap ruined the 2014 champion’s chances.
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