Gordon Shedden increases his lead at the top of the BTCC standings
(Photo from: www.btcc.net)
Gordon Shedden took his second win of the 2017 British Touring Car Championship in the third and final race at Oulton Park. An incident packed race saw the Scotsman overtake early leader Andrew Jordan with three laps to go following a long safety car period.
It was Josh Cook who started from pole though as the reverse grid race saw the top six reversed with Jordan alongside and the two Hondas in third and fourth. For the third time today it was Jordan who led into turn 1, using his rear wheel drive advantage to perfection, with Cook slotting into second.
Cook was defending valiantly in the opening phase of the race from the aggressive Shedden however at the beginning of the third lap, Cook and Shedden made contact as the reigning champion went for a move up the inside at Old Hall which resulted in right rear damage for Cook and eventual retirement. This ensured everyone behind moved up a place with Matt Neal now in third and race 2 winner Ashley Sutton in fourth.
With maximum ballast on board following his earlier victory, Sutton was defending continuously from those behind, with the likes of Collard and Austin all over the Subaru driver.
At the front the lead gap was slowly starting to come down though on lap 8 the safety car was deployed after Aiden Moffat came in contact with Dave Newsham coming down the hill towards Hislop’s, slamming into the barriers side on and coming to rest in the centre of the circuit. The barrier was badly damaged following the collision which resulted in a 5 lap safety car period.
At this point the order was Jordan followed by Shedden, Neal, Sutton, Collard, Turkington, Austin, Epps, Plato and Taylor-Smith.
Once the safety care came in there were five laps to go and on lap 15, Shedden made his move, up the inside of Jordan at Cascades with Neal following through on Hilltop later on in the lap, after going round the outside of Jordan at Island Hairpin.
Behind the top three and the BMW’s of Collard and Turkington were swapping places as Turkington continued his race 3 charge up the grid. Despite his obvious pace advantage, he was not able to pass Sutton for fourth though, who continued his expert defensive drive.
As the chequered flag came out then it was Shedden who took the victory with Neal second and Jordan third, completing the podium places. Sutton held on for fourth with Turkington and Collard close behind as Austin, Epps, Hill and Luke Davenport rounded out the top 10.