BTCC: Gordon Shedden, Sam Tordoff and Aron Smith winners at Rockingham
Gordon Shedden, Sam Tordoff and Aron Smith are the winners of three BTCC races at Rockingham Motor Speedway. After eight rounds and 24 races in the 2016 season, Sam Tordoff is the championship leader with 258 points, just five more than Matt Neal (253). Shedden has 238 points, eight more than Mat Jackson. Fifth-placed Rob Collard has 227 points.
In the first race of the day, Gordon Shedden started from pole and was leading until the chequered flag. For the defending champion, this was his the third win of the season. The driver of Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Honda Civic Type R scored a comfortable win ahead of Mat Jackson (Motorbase Perfomance, Ford Focus), who crossed the finish line 2.561sec behind the winner. Jason Plato (Team BMR, Subaru Levorg) completed the podium, three tenths of a second behind Jackson.
A few incidents on the opening lap led to a short safety car period, but it didn’t prevent Shedden to pull away after the restart. Driving without attacks from rivals, he set the fastest lap of the race.
In the second race, Sam Tordoff scored a fantastic victory, starting from the tenth place on the grid. The driver of the BMW 125i M Sport of the Team JCT600 with GardX scored his second win of the season, but it was enough to extend the championship lead. Tordoff won ahead of Andrew Jackson and his teammate Rob Collard.
Mat Jackson was in the lead few laps, but at the end he finished fourth. Ashley Sutton took another top five finish for MG. His teammate Josh Cook was the victim of the first-lap crash, together with Jason Plato. Matt Neal finished sixth, ahead of Team BKR’s Aron Smith.
The reverse grid draw put Aron Smith on the pole for the Race 3. He converted first starting position into his fourth BTCC win in a career and the first ever victory for his Team BKR. Smith defended his lead from all attacks, especially in the final eight laps when Gordon Shedden was on his tail. On the other side, Shedden had to defend himself from Colin Turkington.
The race was interrupted by three Safety Car periods. Shedden and Turkington get the most from restarts, taking podium positions after 19 laps, while Matt Neal and Mat Jackson lost their podium spotsto finish 4th and 5th. Sam Tordoff missed the points in the third race, finishing 16th, but he remained in the championship lead.
The next BTCC round is scheduled for September 18 at Silverstone.