Brands Hatch BTCC: Gordon Shedden claims title as Aron Smith wins
|By Kevin Turner||Sunday, October 21st 2012, 14:06 GMT|
Gordon Shedden clinched his first British Touring Car title in a wet second race at Brands Hatch, taking second behind new BTCC winner Aron Smith.
The rear-wheel-drive WSR BMW of Tom Onslow-Cole jumped into the lead at the start, with Smith's Motorbase Ford and Matt Neal's Honda battling for second.
Shedden was just behind Rob Collard's WSR BMW into Druids when a tap from title contender Jason Plato's MG forced the Honda Civic into Collard.
The BMW spun, taking out Will Bratt's Audi and delaying the Speedworks Toyota of Adam Morgan.
With Collard's retirement, which brought out the safety car, Eurotech driver Andrew Jordan secured the Independent drivers' title in his Honda.
Smith overcame Onslow-Cole at Druids just after the restart, but a Paddock Hill Bend clash between Nick Foster's BMW and Dan Welch's Proton, and a crash for Dave Newsham's ES Vauxhall after contact with Plato, brought out the safety car once more.
Smith led at the second restart, while Shedden closed on third man Neal. The Scot made it by at Clearways and set off after Smith and Onslow-Cole.
Before he got there, the BMW went off at Surtees, handing Shedden second. Onslow-Cole was then involved in another incident after Andy Neate's MG went off at Graham Hill Bend and hit Morgan as he came back onto the track.
As Morgan suffered a heavy crash, Onslow-Cole and the Gilham team's newcomer Aaron Williamson also had excursions in avoidance.
Up at the front, Shedden closed on Smith, but elected not to challenge. With Neal third and MG title rival Plato only managing fifth, Shedden's points total is now unassailable with the reversed-grid race still to go.
Neal has also moved two points ahead of Plato in the fight for second in the table.
New Independent champion Jordan was fourth, right behind Neal, while Frank Wrathall's Dynojet Toyota came through from row 11 to sixth.
Mat Jackson also charged from row 11 to take seventh, and will start the reversed-grid finale from pole.
Results - 18 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Aron Smith Motorbase Ford 35m56.647s 2. Gordon Shedden Honda + 2.615s 3. Matt Neal Honda + 4.489s 4. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Honda + 4.979s 5. Jason Plato MG + 8.829s 6. Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota + 9.503s 7. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford + 9.699s 8. Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda + 13.835s 9. Lea Wood Wood Vauxhall + 14.125s 10. Rob Austin Austin Audi + 19.418s 11. Ollie Jackson AmD Volkswagen + 27.026s 12. Andy Neate MG + 40.033s 13. Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford + 40.974s 14. Nick Foster WSR BMW + 46.584s 15. Tom Onslow-Cole WSR BMW + 46.721s 16. Chris James ES Vauxhall + 49.536s 17. Tony Hughes Speedworks Toyota + 49.901s Retirements: Aaron Williamson Gilham Honda 11 laps Adam Morgan Speedworks Toyota 10 laps Tony Gilham Gilham Vauxhall 6 laps Dave Newsham ES Vauxhall 5 laps Daniel Welch Welch Proton 5 laps Will Bratt Austin Audi 0 laps Rob Collard WSR BMW 0 laps