Brands Hatch BTCC: Gordon Shedden champion despite Jason Plato win

Gordon Shedden produced a stellar drive through the field to secure the 2015 British Touring Car Championship, despite Jason Plato winning the season finale

Brands Hatch BTCC: Gordon Shedden champion despite Jason Plato win

Plato managed a trio of safety-car periods with ease and raced to a dominant triumph, as Shedden had to fight his way through from 19th on the grid.

His task was made more difficult when his Honda team-mate Matt Neal ran wide at Paddock on the opening lap, handing Plato the lead.

That meant Shedden needed to reach the top six to win the title, and a first-lap clash that eliminated Tom Ingram at Druids was the first step towards that target.

By the end of the opening lap, with the field behind the safety car, Shedden was 16th - but he had no immediate opportunity to progress as Stewart Lines went off at Clark Curve at the restart, necessitating another safety car.

He picked up 15th before racing resumed again when Plato's stand-in Team BMR team-mate Alain Menu pitted with a right-rear puncture, picked up after a hit from Shedden in the first-lap concertina at Druids.

Two laps later Plato led the field away on another restart, only for a car to wind up beached in the Clark Curve gravel again - this time Dave Newsham's Chevrolet.

This time Shedden had made his move much more swiftly, rising to 12th in the first half of the lap - the final move, on James Cole's Motorbase Ford Focus, coming seconds before they reached the safety-car boards on the back straight.

When the safety car next returned to the pits it stayed there, and Shedden charged.

With no additional weight in his Civic Type-R courtesy of his dismal race two, the Scot picked off car after car as he arrowed in on his top-six target.

He passed Jeff Smith and Sam Tordoff on the same lap, before Andrew Jordan moved aside in his MG on the run down to Hawthorn on lap 10.

Moments later, Shedden got past Andy Priaulx for eighth when the WSR BMW driver lost out to Aron Smith - but Plato then set the fastest lap to pick up an additional point, meaning Shedden needed fifth for the title.

He passed Smith, lambasted by Plato earlier on for allegedly not helping his quest for the championship, with relative ease for seventh on lap 11 - though it took him another two laps to nail Rob Collard, outdragging the BMW out of Clearways.

There was then two seconds between Shedden and his next target, Adam Morgan's Ciceley Racing Mercedes, but Neal was ready to play the team game.

He attacked Goff at Paddock, allowing Mat Jackson's Ford to draw alongside the pair of them and force them to run three-wide into Druids.

Morgan got involved and all four were delayed, bringing Shedden into the fight - and into fifth when he passed Morgan at Paddock on lap 15 and started to attack Goff's MG.

Goff defended robustly thereafter, and it took Neal to back off and let both past before the title looked secure for Shedden - and late on Tordoff took fastest lap away from Plato for good measure.

It meant a sixth victory for Plato, 3.7 seconds ahead of Jackson, was not enough, handing Shedden a second crown to add to his 2012 success.

RESULTS - 18 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Jason Plato Team BMR Volkswagen 31m47.185s
2 Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 3.536s
3 Jack Goff MG MG 8.954s
4 Gordon Shedden Honda Honda 9.086s
5 Matt Neal Honda Honda 9.564s
6 Adam Morgan Ciceley Racing Mercedes 10.079s
7 Rob Collard WSR BMW 10.289s
8 Andrew Jordan MG MG 10.492s
9 Aron Taylor-Smith Team BMR Volkswagen 10.978s
10 Andy Priaulx WSR BMW 11.220s
11 Sam Tordoff WSR BMW 11.470s
12 Colin Turkington Team BMR Volkswagen 15.479s
13 Aiden Moffat Aiden Moffat Racing Mercedes 15.979s
14 Mike Bushell AmD Ford 18.096s
15 Josh Cook Power Maxed Chevrolet 19.976s
16 Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda 23.200s
17 Hunter Abbott Rob Austin Racing Audi 23.462s
18 James Cole Motorbase Ford 23.819s
19 Martin Depper Eurotech Honda 24.317s
20 Tony Gilham Team Hard Toyota 25.443s
21 Alain Menu Team BMR Volkswagen 25.902s
22 Alex Martin Team Parker Ford 26.285s
23 Derek Palmer Jr. Infiniti Infiniti 32.971s
24 Simon Belcher Handy Motorsport Toyota 57.817s
- Rob Austin Rob Austin Racing Audi Retirement
- Dave Newsham Power Maxed Chevrolet Retirement
- Stewart Lines Houseman Racing Toyota Retirement
- Daniel Welch Welch Motorsport Proton Not started
- Tom Ingram Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Retirement
- Jake Hill AmD Audi Retirement

FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Gordon Shedden 348
2 Jason Plato 344
3 Matt Neal 317
4 Colin Turkington 310
5 Andrew Jordan 274
6 Sam Tordoff 270
7 Adam Morgan 267
8 Andy Priaulx 247
9 Jack Goff 233
10 Rob Collard 226
11 Aron Taylor-Smith 209
12 Mat Jackson 200
13 Tom Ingram 173
14 Rob Austin 120
15 Josh Cook 95
16 Dave Newsham 95
17 Aiden Moffat 77
18 Martin Depper 53
19 James Cole 32
20 Jeff Smith 31
21 Hunter Abbott 23
22 Warren Scott 23
23 Mike Bushell 19
24 Nick Foster 4
25 Barry Horne 3
26 Robb Holland 2
27 Alain Menu 1
28 Simon Belcher 1
29 Daniel Welch 1
30 Kieran Gallagher 1
31 Tony Gilham 1
32 Alex Martin 0
33 Andy Wilmot 0
34 Max Coates 0
35 Richard Hawken 0
36 Martin Donnelly 0
37 Stewart Lines 0
38 Derek Palmer Jr. -2


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Brands BTCC: Mat Jackson wins, Jason Plato gains on Gordon Shedden
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