Round 19: Shedden inherits
29 July 2007
Gordon Shedden inherited his third win of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season at Snetterton after race winner Colin Turkington was excluded from the 19th round of the year.
Just half an hour or so from the headquarters of the WSR team sponsors, Turkington looked to have stormed to his third win of the season at the wheel of his BMW 320si, although team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole and Team Halfords ace Shedden ensured he didn't have an easy run to the flag. However all his hard work would be in vain when Turkington was excluded from the results after the race due to an underweight car.
When the race kicked off on a dry circuit, despite overnight rain, Onslow-Cole made the best start, but the fact the rookie was then on the outside going into Riches meant that Turkington was able to maintain the lead. Behind however, points leader Jason Plato was in trouble as a demon start that saw him get ahead of title rival Fabrizio Giovanardi, came to nothing when he was tagged by Matt Neal at the first corner and took a trip across the grass – dropping down to 17th at the end of the opening lap. Neal meanwhile would be forced to pit with damage to his Honda Civic and would ultimately finish a lap down.
While Onslow-Cole was unable to gain the lead on the run to the first corner, he would lead the race by the end of lap one as he got a run down the Revett Straight to get into the lead at The Esses, with Turkington then forced to defend second from Shedden, with Tom Chilton fourth as the top four broke away from the pack. Mat Jackson was fifth having jumped up from ninth on the grid, with Darren Turner, Giovanardi, Jason Hughes and Dave Pinkney completing the top ten – the A-Tech man having come up from 15th on the grid.
By the end of the second lap, Plato had started to make up places and had climbed up to 15th place in his attempt to minimise the points loss to Giovanardi who was trying to move up the order himself from the fighting pack towards the bottom of the top ten.
While Turkington tried to find a way past his team-mate for the lead, Shedden was being forced to defend from Chilton in the battle for third place. Having produced a solid drive in the opening stages however, Onslow-Cole lost the lead on lap five, with Turkington getting ahead at The Esses and Shedden then following him through into second at Russell to demote Onslow-Cole down to third. Further back meanwhile, Giovanardi was up to seventh having past Mike Jordan for position.
Giovanardi was now running as quick as anyone in the Vectra and on lap six he climbed into sixth place with a strong move on Darren Turner at the Esses, Mike Jordan following him straight through as Turner got bogged down coming out of the corner.
Out front, Turkington continued to lead from Shedden at the half-way point with Onslow-Cole holding off Chilton in the fight for third. Jackson continued in fifth ahead of Giovanardi, Jordan, Turner, Eoin Murray and Plato – who had got himself into the top ten.
On lap eleven, Plato got ahead of Murray into ninth while Turner was starting to pressurise Jordan for seventh, perhaps aware that if he could in front of the Integra then he could help Plato to make up places. However, there wouldn't be enough laps for Plato to climb higher as, despite Turner getting past Jordan, the points leader had to settle for ninth.
Instead it was left to Turkington to take the flag in first, just seven tenths ahead of Shedden who was then handed his third win by race officials. Onslow-Cole inherited second with Chilton completing the podium with Jackson, Giovanardi and Turner completing the top six. Jordan was seventh ahead of Plato, with ninth for Tom Ferrier giving him a first points finish of the season. Jason Hughes took the final point in the Kartworld MG – with Eoin Murray missing out having run in the top ten throughout before a mechanical problem forced him to retire just three laps from the finish.
Erkut was eleventh – again - with Matt Allison 12th – the home favourite having been forced to battle back through the field after an off-track excursion while fighting with Plato dropped him down the order. John George was 13th ahead of Richard Marsh with Martyn Bell in 15th, the Team AllAboutProperty.com driver having stormed from 21st on the grid to 13th on the opening lap before slipping back down the order as the race progressed. Simon Blanckley and Fiona Leggate completed the drivers to finish on the lead lap, with Neal a lap down in 18th.
Alongside Murray, Pinkney retired after being punted off by Matt Allison with the damage to his Alfa Romeo enough to force a retirement while Chris Stockton managed just two laps before his Lexus was forced out. Rick Kerry failed to start due to engine problems with the diesel BMW 1 Series, the team now working to get the car ready for the second race instead.