Gordon Shedden strengthened his British Touring Car title challenge by winning the second race at Rockingham this afternoon.
Shedden's Honda ran third early on, once the fast-starting WSR BMW of Nick Foster had fallen back from the place after being blocked by a wall of Chevrolets at the first corner.
Whereas the Cruzes of Jason Plato and Paul O'Neill had driven away in race one, this time they struggled with the extra success ballast of 45kg and 36kg respectively. They led, but were soon under pressure.
Shedden overcame O'Neill on the run to Deene on lap two and quickly closed on championship rival Plato. He pulled the same move on the works Chevrolet two laps later to take the lead.
Frank Wrathall, who had made a poor start in his NGTC Toyota Avensis from row two, soon became Shedden's main rival. He passed O'Neill and Plato in separate moves on the run from Turn 1 and closed onto the tail of the lead Honda Civic.
Although he remained close for the rest of the race, and had several looks at the lead, Wrathall could not find a way by and had to settle for a BTCC career best of second, just 0.38 seconds behind Shedden.
The second Honda of Matt Neal ran a quiet fifth in the early stages, but got stronger and stronger. He powered past O'Neill just before half-distance and quickly caught Plato.
Neal got alongside Plato on the run to Deene with three laps to go and the Chevrolet driver let him the Honda go.
Behind the top four, Foster continued his impressive weekend by going around the outside of O'Neill on the penultimate lap to secure a well-earned fifth. James Nash also made it by in his Triple Eight Vauxhall Vectra to complete the top six.
O'Neill just held off the Eurotech Vauxhall Vectra of Jeff Smith, having one of his best races of the season in eighth, while Rob Austin brought his NGTC Audi through to ninth after starting from the pitlane.
Rob Collard will start this afternoon's reversed-grid race from pole after taking 10th in his WSR BMW.
Results - 16 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Gordon Shedden Honda 23m06.832s 2. Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota + 0.380s 3. Matt Neal Honda + 4.576s 4. Jason Plato Chevrolet + 5.952s 5. Nick Foster WSR BMW + 12.895s 6. James Nash Triple 8 Vauxhall + 15.852s 7. Paul O'Neill Tech-Speed Chevrolet + 16.673s 8. Jeff Smith Eurotech Vauxhall + 16.874s 9. Rob Austin Rob Austin Audi + 23.549s 10. Rob Collard WSR BMW + 25.848s 11. Tom Chilton Arena Ford + 27.566s 12. Tom Onslow-Cole Arena Ford + 27.837s 13. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Vauxhall + 28.349s 14. Tony Gilham Geoff Steel BMW + 28.784s 15. Alex MacDowall Chevrolet + 30.166s 16. Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford + 42.161s 17. Chris James ES Chevrolet + 43.167s 18. Martin Byford AmD Volkswagen + 44.328s 19. John George Tech-Speed Chevrolet + 1 lap Retirements: Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 14 laps Andy Neate Arena Ford 13 laps Daniel Welch Welch Proton 8 laps Michael Caine Motorbase Ford 8 laps Tom Boardman Special Tuning SEAT 5 laps Dave Newsham Special Tuning SEAT 0 laps
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