Rockingham BTCC: Gordon Shedden's wet win gives him points lead

Gordon Shedden took the lead of the British Touring Car Championship with a fine victory in the reversed-grid race at a wet Rockingham

Rockingham BTCC: Gordon Shedden's wet win gives him points lead

The works Honda Civic driver jumped from row five to sixth on the opening lap, helped by mistakes from poleman Adam Morgan (Speedworks Toyota Avensis) and Mat Jackson in Motorbase's NGTC Ford Focus.

Up at the front, the fast-starting Aron Smith (Motorbase S2000 Focus) led Matt Neal's Civic (up from eighth on the grid), Rob Collard's WSR BMW, Jason Plato's MG and the Eurotech Honda of Andrew Jordan.

Shedden dived by Jordan into Deene just before Jeff Smith crashed his Eurotech-run Civic heavily on the banking, bringing out the safety car.

Plato had already passed Collard, and Shedden soon made it by the BMW after the restart.

The three title contenders - Neal, Plato and Shedden - then closed on Aron Smith, who was struggling to maintain his pace.

Neal made it by into Tarzan on lap 11 of 19, but Shedden and Plato followed almost immediately.

With Plato still within range, Shedden - who appeared to have extra speed over the injured Neal - got a great run out of the last corner to challenge his team-mate.

The Honda duo ran side-by-side through the banked Turn 1 before Shedden secured the place.

Shedden then edged away to take his eighth win of 2012, while Neal just held off a late charge from Plato.

Smith eventually came home fifth after falling prey to Jordan, who thus made it three NGTC Civics in the top four.

Jackson recovered to sixth, ahead of a late battle between Tom Onslow-Cole's WSR BMW and the AmD VW Golf of Ollie Jackson, which had started on the front row.

Onslow-Cole had come through from row seven, but found the VW a tough competitor

The duo swapped places twice on the final tour before Onslow-Cole crossed the line seventh.

BTCC rookie Howard Fuller finished 16th after going off at Deene in Tony Gilham Racing's S2000 Honda Civic.

Results - 19 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Gordon Shedden Honda 33m28.324s 2. Matt Neal Honda + 3.423s 3. Jason Plato MG + 3.671s 4. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Honda + 13.439s 5. Aron Smith Motorbase Ford + 15.728s 6. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford + 19.810s 7. Tom Onslow-Cole WSR BMW + 22.229s 8. Ollie Jackson AmD Volkswagen + 22.685s 9. Nick Foster WSR BMW + 29.635s 10. Rob Austin Austin Audi + 30.747s 11. Adam Morgan Speedworks Toyota + 33.204s 12. Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota + 36.223s 13. Rob Collard WSR BMW + 44.385s 14. Andy Neate MG + 45.067s 15. Will Bratt Austin Audi + 47.662s 16. Howard Fuller Gilham Honda + 55.443s 17. Tony Hughes Speedworks Toyota + 1m04.343s Retirements: Dave Newsham ES Vauxhall 11 laps Chris James ES Vauxhall 4 laps Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda 2 laps 
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Rockingham BTCC: Gordon Shedden heads Honda one-two at wet Rockingham

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Series BTCC
Drivers Gordon Shedden
Teams BTC Racing
Author Kevin Turner
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