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Shedden opens 2011 win account
1 May 2011
Gordon Shedden clinched his first win of the 2011 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season after leading a Honda 1-2 in the opening race of the weekend at Thruxton.
Shedden started from pole and held his lead for most of the race, only briefly dropping behind team-mate Matt Neal to ensure a bonus point for leading a lap.
Having built his advantage through the opening laps, Shedden was well clear of Neal when he managed to battle ahead of Andrew Jordan's Vauxhall Vectra heading into the Complex on lap four.
The Honda pair were able to pull away, with the brief swap of position coming on lap 13 before Shedden moved back ahead to take victory by just over two-tenths of a second.
Jordan took a somewhat lonely third as he was unable to match the pace of the Civics ahead, with Tom Chilton fourth in the first of the Team Aon Fords. Tom Boardman took fifth place after a hectic race long battle with the Ford of Mat Jackson and the VW of Tom Onslow-Cole – who followed the SEAT home in sixth and seventh. The trio were aided however by defending champion Jason Plato crashing out at the Chicane on lap 14 after suffering a puncture on his Silverline Chevrolet. Plato had been running fifth at the time.
Championship leader James Nash was only eighth as he dealt with maximum ballast on his car while Jeff Smith and Alex MacDowall rounded out the top ten – the latter being the only non-turbo powered car to score a point.
Tony Gilham took eleventh after a race long fight with Rob Collard and Paul O'Neill, while Liam Griffin, Nick Foster, Andy Neate, John George and Chris James rounded out the finishers.
Both NGTC-spec cars retired in the opening laps with mechanical issues.
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