BTCC 2017: Brands Hatch, Gordon Shedden takes the win

Gordon Shedden made a solid start to the defence of its Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship title come away from the first round of the 2017 season at Brands Hatch with a win, a second place and a six-point advantage over race-winner Tom Ingram, the in the drivers ‘ standings.

The Halfords Yuasa Honda driver, bidding to be the first person from the tour legend Andy Rouse some 32 years ago, to win three consecutive BTCC title, emerged unscathed from a dramatic and incident-Packed curtain-raiser.

Andrew Jordan completed the trio of winners on his debut for West Surrey Racing in a weekend that saw three different cars at the top of the podium, while his team-mate Colin Turkington in a main role, as he drove from the last row of the grid to second place in only two races.

Race One

With five manufacturer-supported teams (Honda, BMW, Subaru, Vauxhall, and MG), is fighting the tire a full starting field of 32 cars, and a new, wider Dunlop, Saturday qualifying set the tone for a dramatic weekend. Twice the meeting was interrupted for red flags to recover cars caught the damp and greasy conditions on the track. It is also a massive shock threw, as Jeff Smith it is the perfect area rugs and stole pole position from far more established opposition, just before the second default.

The 51-year-old Eurotech team owner, running a pair of privateer Honda Civic Type-Rs for himself and Jack Goff, delivered swung a round of 48.367 s in and around Brands Hatch – Indy layout just as the red flags for a second time, to recover Ash Sutton – Subaru of the barriers in the Paddock Hill Bend.

Blame aside, loose timing, Smith’s round was impressive and only a couple of tenths shy of Tom Ingram’s free practice, the pace. The speed works, the Toyota Avensis driver, who duly took second place in the starting line-up.

Rain was no Problem on Sunday, but the start of race one brought more drama than a Honda ACE Matt Neal and Colin Turkington, the fastest, the collided now the manufacturer-supported West Surrey Racing BMW 125is on the start-line. The incident eliminated both of the former champions immediately and brought out the Safety Car.

While all this was going on, Ingram bolted from the line and had taken over management of Smith. As the Safety Car back in the Box, the 23-year-old, the stacks also won the first round in 2016, to build set, a head start, as behind him, the reigning champion Shedden, Adam Morgan, Rob Austin, and Jordan all behind Smith.

The pole-sitter hung on bravely, but could not change tires on his option. The snake behind him was greater, and one after the other, you slipped. By the time you had, but it was too late for Shedden’s works Honda to do anything about Ingram, whose perfect performance bagged to win a third career. Smith finally retired with a broken wheel nut.

Shedden, whose dashboard was flashing the oil warning light on him in the closing stages, had to work hard for the second Morgan Mercedes-closed in towards the end of the race. Behind them, Goff struggled to enter through the fourth, Eurotech some comfort, while Austin, Toyota, and the fast BMW from Jordan and Robert Collard chased him home.

Race two

It is a slaughter was to start up again in the second race. This time it was another Ex-champion to the point where Jason Plato hit the pit wall hard in his Subaru Levorg that circumcised Matt Simpson Honda from the network. The front of the car was much worse than the pilot, rocked climbed, and saw-chested but otherwise okay. The effect was large enough to bend the Levorg s chassis, crack the engine block and the end of Plato’s participation in the weekend.

Plato had started the race two 12th after the fight the 19 on the grid in race one. He spent the weekend re-learn his BMR run combination, the following regulation changes that resembled the center of gravity of the Subaru boxer-engine with the rest of the field. The Levorg has had the car, until the end of 2016 and had won two of the last lap of the race in Brands Hatch, this time, they spent most of the weekend in the vicinity of the bottom of the timesheets.

Plato’s misfortune saved Ingram race. The Toyota had repealed a drive-through penalty for causing an aborted start, but the red flag, and allowed him to start from pole, after all. But 75kg of ballast for success was to resist much, Shedden – Honda, the lead from the normal highways in the second round.

Wear 66kg its own ballast, Shedden did not break away immediately though, as Ingram focused his attention on the defense of the first of Andrew Jordan (impressive on its rear-wheel drive debut), and then Rob Collard in his WSR team-mate in round 10.

To recover a short Safety Car Phase, the debris of Ant Whorton-Eales, was not enough to save Ingram from the clutches of Collard, forced to go his way past the Toyota on the run up to the druids with four laps to go.

Behind them, Austin thought, he would tip a fierce battle with Morgan, Jackson and Jordan, the beat Josh cook on the sixth on the road by a tenth of a second. But Austin was later to overtake disqualified Jordan under yellow flags. This meant that Chilton adopted an amended eighth in the new brand is working, the Power Maxed Racing-Vauxhall Astra while Turkington, starting with the last row of the grid, fought his way back to ninth before Michael Epps.

Race three

Austin’s disqualification meant that Chilton, amazingly, he found himself on the pole for a humdinger of a Finale – with the top eight finishers of race two in reverse for the final starting grid.

Jordan made a blinding start in the soft-tyred BMW and the lead shot up in the standings from third on the grid. Chilton tucked in behind him in pursuit with Collard and Morgan first.

But as the rounds after counted down, Turkington proved to be the true threat to the production of perhaps the ride of the day from the ninth starting position. Of round eight of the Northern Irishman, who was third, and all over the back of the Chilton. The duo put on a fantastic show, like you, to twice side-by-side went into druids in front of the Vauxhall finally gave in to Graham Hill Bend, with seven laps to go.

In 2007 and ’14 champion then set about tracking down the leader of Jordan in the sister 125i. The pair engaged in a thrilling dice, Turkington tried everything legal, including a gentle tap of clearways on the last lap – in the past, but it was not enough to deny the 2013 world champion his first win of the season.

Chilton completed a strong weekend with a podium, his third top-ten result of the day, followed by Matt Neal, ended a challenging weekend with a strong fourth place.

Shedden seventh place meant that he Brands Hatch to leave with 48 points, followed by Ingram (42) and Jordan (41) as they head to Donington in two weeks time.

Read more:

2017 BTCC team entry list confirmed

2017 Honda Civic Type R BTCC racer revealed striking new livery

Tom Chilton on why he is ready for victory in the BTCC and WTCC

Autocar renewed media partnership with the British Touring Car Championship

Simon Strand