Shedden victorious in wet thriller

Gordon Shedden took a fine victory in a dramatic first British Touring Car race at Oulton Park this afternoon

Shedden victorious in wet thriller

Drizzle before the start meant that some drivers elected to start on wets, some on slicks, and others with slicks on the front and wets on the back.

Poleman Shedden chose to start with a mixture and was beaten into Old Hall by Honda team-mate Matt Neal, starting on wets. As Neal pulled away on the first lap, Shedden had to defend from Arena Motorsport's Andy Neate and the RML-run Chevrolet Cruzes of Jason Plato and Alex MacDowall.

But with no more rain, the track started to dry and Shedden's pace soon picked up. He closed on Neal and slipped by his team-mate at the hairpin on lap four of 15.

As Shedden pulled clear to win, Neal seemed to struggle more than the other wet-shod runners and would eventually fall to eighth. Plato soon made it past, followed by MacDowall and an impressive Rob Collard in his WSR BMW.

The top three remained unchanged for the rest of the race, but behind the order changed constantly.

Triple 8 Vauxhall Vectra driver James Nash started with slicks on the front and wets on the back. He ran in the bottom reaches of the top 10 initially, but got quicker and quicker as the track dried. He came through the pack, passing Collard as the duo entered the penultimate lap, but ran out of time to catch MacDowall.

A long way behind fifth-placed Collard came team-mate Nick Foster. He also worked his way through the field with some great moves at Cascades. He was shadowed across the line by series returnee Lea Wood, who charged from 21st to finish seventh in his ageing Honda Integra.

The duo may have been caught by Tom Boardman's Special Tuning Racing SEAT Leon, on the final lap, flying on slicks. But he was the innocent victim of a clash between Jeff Smith (Eurotech/Pirtek Racing Vectra) and Neate on the run to the hairpin.

Smith was spat across the road and the out-of-control Vectra smashed into a furious Boardman in the middle of the corner, leaving Neate to take ninth and his first points of the season.

Andrew Jordan, running slicks on the front and wets on the back, survived a first lap off to come home 10th.

Results - 15 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Gordon Shedden Honda 24m45.103s 2. Jason Plato Chevrolet + 3.660s 3. Alex MacDowall Chevrolet + 8.067s 4. James Nash Triple 8 Vauxhall + 11.506s 5. Rob Collard WSR BMW + 15.707s 6. Nick Foster WSR BMW + 28.186s 7. Lea Wood Central Honda + 28.630s 8. Matt Neal Honda + 31.379s 9. Andy Neate Arena Ford + 34.003s 10. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Vauxhall + 35.006s 11. Tom Onslow-Cole AmD Volkswagen + 43.358s 12. Dave Newsham Special Tuning SEAT + 47.211s 13. Paul O'Neill Tech-Speed Chevrolet + 48.794s 14. Tony Gilham Triple 8 Vauxhall + 1m12.950s 15. Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford + 1m13.123s 16. Tony Hughes Speedworks Toyota + 1m38.635s 17. Tom Chilton Arena Ford + 1 lap Retirements: Jeff Smith Eurotech Vauxhall 14 laps Tom Boardman Special Tuning SEAT 14 laps Chris James ES Chevrolet 9 laps John George Tech-Speed Chevrolet 6 laps Rob Austin Austin Audi 5 laps Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 4 laps Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota 4 laps 
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