Wuhan WTCR: BTCC convert Gordon Shedden takes first win in Wuhan

Gordon Shedden resisted pressure from fellow Audi driver Frederic Vervisch to claim his first World Touring Car Cup victory in the final race at the Wuhan street circuit

Wuhan WTCR: BTCC convert Gordon Shedden takes first win in Wuhan

A day after scoring his first podium since switching to the WTCR world cup for 2018, three-time British Touring Car champion Shedden sealed pole position on Sunday morning and led every lap of the race on his way to a first win at world level.

That dominance masked how difficult Shedden's task was, though, as the WRT driver's RS3 LMS survived two hits from behind, while he also held off a spirited charge from Vervisch in the closing stages.

Shedden, whose car's steering rack was changed before the finale after an opening-lap incident in race two, was tapped sideways by Denis Dupont (Comtoyou Audi) at Turn 1 but kept his foot in and retained the lead from Esteban Guerrieri, who straight-lined the corner in his Munnich Motorsport Honda Civic.

The race was almost immediately neutralised when Aurelien Comte was pushed into the wall exiting the Turn 6 right-hander by Jean-Karl Vernay, with Comte's Peugeot 308TCR collected by an unsighted Rob Huff (Volkswagen Golf GTI).

Guerrieri was asked under the safety car to drop behind Dupont and Frederic Vervisch after skipping past the two Audis at the first corner, ceding position four laps before the lap-nine restart.

Shedden was therefore again pursued by Dupont when the race restarted, as the leading three Audis edged away from Guerrieri.

Dupont then clumsily punted the tyre stack at the right-left Turn 10 on lap 11 - tagging Shedden, who survived - which resulted in a second safety-car period being called.

With the fast but less-experienced Dupont out of his way, Vervisch went with Shedden in the opening laps after the second restart as the top two stretched their legs.

Vervisch was never more than half a second behind the leader in the final laps, but was not able to find a way past Shedden - who credited his success to WRT for repairing his car in time for the finale.

After his pair of lairy moments in the first half of the race, Dupont faded away from the lead battle but came through to score his second podium in as many weekends.

Leading Honda contender Guerrieri drove a brilliant final part of the race to hold off Nathanael Berthon for fourth, despite his exhaust dragging along the ground throughout the second half of the race.

For a second race in a row Berthon found a way past Campos Racing Cupra driver Pepe Oriola, but a sixth-place finish was nevertheless enough to move Oriola up to fourth in the drivers' standings - the best of the non-Hyundais.

Ma Qing Hua had the most competitive race of his two-round deal with the Boutsen Ginion Honda outfit to finish seventh ahead of Kevin Ceccon, with race two winner Mehdi Bennani and YMR Hyundai driver Thed Bjork completing the points.

Saturday race winner Vernay was handed a drivethrough penalty for hitting Comte and finished 15th.

Result - 23 laps

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Gordon Shedden WRT Audi 40m35.882s
2 Frederic Vervisch Comtoyou Racing Audi 0.558s
3 Denis Dupont Comtoyou Racing Audi 5.018s
4 Esteban Guerrieri Munnich Motorsport Honda 8.475s
5 Nathanael Berthon Comtoyou Racing Audi 8.813s
6 Pepe Oriola Campos Racing Cupra 9.827s
7 Ma Qinghua Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda 11.047s
8 Kevin Ceccon Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo 11.296s
9 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen 12.304s
10 Thed Bjork YMR Hyundai 13.905s
11 Aurelien Panis Comtoyou Racing Audi 14.627s
12 Yann Ehrlacher Munnich Motorsport Honda 15.402s
13 Gabriele Tarquini BRC Racing Team Hyundai 15.928s
14 Norbert Michelisz BRC Racing Team Hyundai 21.125s
15 Jean-Karl Vernay WRT Audi 24.642s
16 Norbert Nagy Zengo Motorsport Cupra 29.783s
17 Tom Coronel Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda 5 Laps
- Yvan Muller YMR Hyundai Retirement
- Fabrizio Giovanardi Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Retirement
- Timo Scheider Munnich Motorsport Honda Retirement
- Zsolt Szabo Zengo Motorsport Cupra Retirement
- Aurelien Comte DG Sport Competition Peugeot Retirement
- Rob Huff Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen Retirement
- Mat'o Homola DG Sport Competition Peugeot Retirement
- John Filippi Campos Racing Cupra Not started

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Gabriele Tarquini 241
2 Thed Bjork 234
3 Yvan Muller 234
4 Pepe Oriola 207
5 Jean-Karl Vernay 205
6 Esteban Guerrieri 199
7 Norbert Michelisz 195
8 Frederic Vervisch 192
9 Yann Ehrlacher 178
10 Rob Huff 162
11 Aurelien Comte 139
12 Gordon Shedden 122
13 Mehdi Bennani 121
14 Nathanael Berthon 71
15 Denis Dupont 69
16 Benjamin Lessennes 48
17 Mat'o Homola 38
18 Daniel Nagy 36
19 James Thompson 36
20 Aurelien Panis 28
21 Kevin Ceccon 24
22 Tom Coronel 24
23 Fabrizio Giovanardi 19
24 Norbert Nagy 18
25 John Filippi 14
26 Petr Fulin 13
27 Rene Rast 10
28 Ma Qinghua 7
29 Zsolt Szabo 4


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Series WTCR
Author Jack Cozens
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