Gordon Shedden leads Honda 1-2-3 in race three

Gordon Shedden made it a hat-trick of wins for the Honda Racing Team at Thruxton, taking advantage of a late puncture for long-time leader Jason Plato to lead home team-mate Matt Neal and Eurotech Racing’s Andrew Jordan.

The reigning champion charged through from seventh on the grid, passing Tom Onslow Cole’s Tony Gilham Racing Volkswagen CC on lap three, Sam Tordoff’s Triple Eight MG on lap five and Jordan’s team-mate Jeff Smith on lap 12, before Plato’s misfortune two laps from home handed him the win.

Neal passed Smith for second on the penultimate lap at the chicane in an incident which saw the latter spin down to sixth, while Jordan made up for his earlier disappointment in third, only half a tenth behind Neal at the flag.

Onslow-Cole rounded off a superb day with fourth, ahead of Aron Smith’s improving Motorbase Performance Ford Focus, Jeff Smith, Mat Jackson, Sam Tordoff, Dave Newsham and Colin Turkington.

Just outside the top 10 was an impressive Dan Welch, who finished 11th in his hastily-repaired Proton Persona after his race two accident, while JWT Performance driver Lea Wood took his second Jack Sears Trophy win of the day in his Vauxhall Vectra, finishing 16th overall.

Pole position man Jack Goff had a race to forget, going off at the complex on the first lap and retiring on the second lap after running off the track at Village.

He had lost the lead at the start to Ciceley Racing’s Adam Morgan, who then made an uncharacteristic mistake at Church and ran off the track.

Morgan recovered and kept his lead, but was forced to pit with an air intake full of grass, coming back through the field to finish 12th.

Smith then took over the lead and held it until lap seven, when Plato overtook him with a textbook move at the first chicane.  He had looked set for a tight battle with the closing Shedden at the end, before misfortune struck.

Matt Neal now takes over the lead of the standings as the season takes a one-month break, ahead of the next meeting at Oulton Park.