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Jason Plato win fails to deny Gordon Shedden title

Gordon Shedden put in a storming drive in the season finale of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Brands Hatch, with the Honda driver finishing fourth to claim the title despite Jason Plato taking victory.

Plato started the race from second on the grid, alongside pole man Matt Neal, whilst Shedden was forced to start down in 19th position as a result of his race two woes.

With an uphill struggle facing him, Shedden’s task became even harder when team-mate Neal lost the lead at the start of the race, gifting the advantage to title rival Plato.

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Three separate safety car periods in the opening eight laps further paused the Scot’s surge through the field, before he was able to make progress in the second half of the race.

When the final restart occurred on lap nine, Shedden was outside the top ten and needing to make progress to at least sixth position. The Honda driver picked off both Eurotech Racing’s Jeff Smith and WSR’s Sam Tordoff on lap ten to move further up the points. He made up another pair of positions on the following lap, passing MG’s Andrew Jordan and WSR’s Andy Priaulx, followed by the lead BVMW of Rob Collard a handful of laps later to move into seventh.

The charge didn’t end there for Shedden, however, as he caught and passed the WIX Racing Mercedes of Adam Morgan for fifth on lap 15. As team-mate Neal then slowed to help Shedden catch the MG of Jack Goff in the closing stages the Honda duo swapped positions, although Shedden was unable to catch Goff and had to settle for fourth.

Although Plato won the race ahead of the Motorbase Ford of Mat Jackson, his win wasn’t enough to take the title, which went the way of Shedden by just four points.

Morgan took the flag in sixth ahead of Collard and Jordan, with the second Team BMR car of Árón Smith finishing in ninth, powerless to assist his team-mate Plato to take the title. Priaulx completed the top ten after a race which saw the Guernseyman make little progress.

Outgoing champion Colin Turkington took the flag in 12th position behind the BMW of Tordoff, whilst the fourth BMR car of Alain Menu was 21st after a puncture scuppered his race and prevented him from getting involved in the championship outcome.

The safety car was called on three times in the opening eight laps, firstly for an accident at Druids on the opening lap, which saw Dave Newsham tag the Toyota of Tom Ingram into the gravel. At the same time the AmD Audi of Jake Hill went into the gravel.

When the safety car came in at the end of lap three, it didn’t even take one corner for Stewart Lines to end up in the Clark Curve gravel. Another safety car intervention followed, which resulted in a case of déja vu when Dave Newsham repeated the off on cold tyres a lap later, resulting in the final appearance of the safety car.

Points scoring result

1 99 Jason PLATO Team BMR RCIB Insurance Volkswagen CC 18 31:47.185 1:31.645 2
2 4 Mat JACKSON Motorbase Performance Ford Focus 18 3.536 1:31.711 7
3 31 M Jack GOFF MG 888 Racing MG 6GT 18 8.954 1:31.726 3
4 52 M Gordon SHEDDEN Honda Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 18 9.086 1:31.904 19
5 25 M Matt NEAL Honda Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 18 9.564 1:31.694 1
6 33 Adam MORGAN WIX Racing Mercedes Benz A-Class 18 10.079 1:31.888 5
7 6 C Rob COLLARD Team JCT600 with GardX BMW 125i M Sport 18 10.289 1:32.270 10
8 77 M Andrew JORDAN MG 888 Racing MG 6GT 18 10.492 1:32.139 11
9 40 Árón SMITH Team BMR RCIB Insurance Volkswagen CC 18 10.978 1:32.296 8
10 111 C Andy PRIAULX Team IHG Rewards Club BMW 125i M Sport 18 11.220 1:32.049 9
11 7 C Sam TORDOFF Team JCT600 with GardX BMW 125i M Sport 18 11.470 1:31.619 13
12 1 Colin TURKINGTON Team BMR RCIB Insurance Volkswagen CC 18 15.479 1:32.292 24
13 16 Aiden MOFFAT Laser Tools Racing Mercedes Benz A-Class 18 15.979 1:32.539 25
14 21 Mike BUSHELL AmD Ford Focus 18 18.096 1:32.476 17
15 66 Josh COOK Power Maxed Racing Chevrolet Cruze 18 19.976 1:32.470 16

Complete race results

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