Shedden takes first 2010 win at Croft

Gordon Shedden broke his season duck in a thriller of a British Touring Car Championship opener at Croft today

Shedden takes first 2010 win at Croft

From the outside of the front row, the Scot surged his Dynamics-run Honda Civic into the lead at the first corner. Poleman Tom Chilton gave chase in his Arena Ford Focus, but at half-distance was passed by the WSR BMW of Rob Collard.

Once free of the Ford, Collard brought the gap down until he was right with Shedden on the final lap. A last-ditch bid for the lead ended in Collard being edged onto the grass as they exited the hairpin on the run to the finish. They crossed the line separated by just 0.03 seconds.

"Rob obviously did a good job in getting past the Focus," said Shedden. "The rear-wheel-drive BMW is softer on its tyres so he was able to attack, but in the end it doesn't matter whether you win by a lap or three hundredths."

Chilton's tyre-troubled Focus faded dramatically, while team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole also slid down the order, first when he slowed suddenly and lost four places, then as his Ford struggled for grip. Chilton lost nearly a lap when a left-front puncture forced him to make a pitstop.

The end result was that Jason Plato and Matt Neal muscled their way through to third and fourth, with Plato's Chevrolet team-mate Alex MacDowall among their victims. Paul O'Neill challenged the newer Honda of Neal for much of the race to take fifth, while James Nash just held off team-mate and BTCC debutant Daniel Lloyd for sixth in the battle of the Triple 8 Vauxhalls.

Among the retirements, David Pinkney may be finished for the day. He had engine failure on his TOCA-powered Vauxhall, and the team is weighing up whether to fit the spare.

Pos Driver Car Time/Gap 1. Gordon Shedden Honda 21m59.863s 2. Rob Collard BMW + 0.035s 3. Jason Plato Chevrolet + 18.355s 4. Matt Neal Honda + 20.012s 5. Paul O'Neill Honda + 20.265s 6. James Nash Vauxhall + 27.276s 7. Daniel Lloyd Vauxhall + 27.888s 8. Tom Onslow-Cole Ford + 30.323s 9. Mat Jackson BMW + 30.554s 10. Andrew Jordan Vauxhall + 30.999s 11. Steven Kane BMW + 33.895s 12. Tom Boardman SEAT + 35.940s 13. Alex MacDowall Chevrolet + 36.601s 14. Martin Depper BMW + 37.062s 15. John George Honda + 48.228s 16. Martin Johnson Vauxhall + 50.673s 17. Andy Neate BMW + 51.622s 18. Tom Chilton Ford + 1m22.598s Retirements: Arthur Forster BMW 12 laps Lea Wood Honda 11 laps Shaun Hollamby Volkswagen 4 laps David Pinkney Vauxhall 3 laps 
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Shedden wins again at Croft

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