Honda Yuasa Racing Team’s Gordon Shedden has assumed the lead of the British Touring Car Championship after a day of good results at Oulton Park, including a win in race two.
Last year’s championship runner-up now leads the standings by five points from team-mate Matt Neal as the two Honda drivers moved ahead of MG’s Jason Plato.
“I think things kind of just fell into my lap a little bit today,” said Shedden to TouringCarTimes. “I think we overcompensated in race one for yesterday’s problems, I was a little bit fortunate I think to finish fourth in race one.”
“In race two, the car was transformed, its handling was awesome, I got to the front and it was all OK but race three, starting from ninth with maximum ballast after we’ve absolutely dominated last in the speed traps all weekend it was always going to be a tough hussle. But to be fair the car handled the ballast very well. I’m slightly disappointed not to finish on the podium, but had you offered me fourth from ninth before the race I’d have bitten your arm off.”
In race three, pole sitter Tom Onslow-Cole was passed by Matt Neal and Jason Plato, but managed to hold Shedden for the final podium spot in his West Surrey Racing BMW.
“(Tom) Onslow-Cole was driving like his life depended on it, and he was driving well,” said Shedden. “And there’s been some absolutely attrocious driving out there today and I didn’t really want to get involved in that, and short of running him off the road, he covered all his bases. So I got close, a little push a little tap here and there, but I wasn’t going to go down the route of firing him off, that’s not the way I like to race.”
Shedden’s win in race two capped an excellent race meeting for Honda, with team-mate Matt Neal winning races one and two. This was the first time that a team has won all three races in a day since Arena Motorsport achieved the same feat at Silverstone in 2010.
This was despite Honda reportedly running with the lowest turbo boost setting of any team on the grid as part of the Championship’s equalisation measures. As a result, the Honda driver had no intentions of becoming complacent over the team’s performances at Oulton Park.
“It’s all handling, there’s no way we would have won the first race if Jason had started on pole,” he said. “And probably no way we’d have won the second one if he’d started on pole either. So had his car ran (in race one), he’s have probably won two races and finished on the podium in race three, and would have been miles ahead. It’s only because people were having problems that we were able to do it.”
Gordon Shedden now leads the drivers’ championship with 173 points, with Matt Neal on 168 and Jason Plato close behind on 161.
Honda’s results at Oulton Park mean they’ve now extended their lead in the teams’ standings to 103 points over West Surrey Racing, and 93 points over MG in the manufacturers’ championship.
BTCC Drivers’ Championship Standings after Oulton Park