27 July 2008
Round 21: Shedden takes race three at Oulton.
Gordon Shedden has taken his second win of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship season after securing victory in the final race of the weekend at Oulton Park.
The Team Halfords man took his first victory since the second round of the year at Rockingham to allow the Honda team to return to winning ways, while Adam Jones and Andy Jordan completed the podium – the latter visiting the rostrum for the first time in his debut BTCC campaign.
Jordan had started the race from pole position and held the position off the line ahead of Shedden, although Mat Jackson made the best getaway to climb up to third place off the line. However, after two relatively trouble-free races earlier in the day, it would all kick off heading into Hislops for the first time as Tom Chilton tried to find a gap that wasn't there down the inside and went across the grass before collecting Steven Kane's BMW.
That tipped Kane into a spin and he was collected by Jason Plato as the Motorbase car sat stationary in the middle of the track, while cars were forced to dive to both the right and the left to avoid the stricken machine. Although Kane recovered to the pits to retire, the Safety Car was deployed to allow Chilton's car to be recovered.
Such was the chaos created by the incident that the field took on a much different look behind the Safety Car, with only Jordan, Shedden, Jackson and Adam Jones having made it through before the accident occurred. Behind them, Matt Neal held fifth ahead of Colin Turkington, but Jason Hughes had suddenly come up to seventh ahead of Fabrizio Giovanardi, Darren Turner and Harry Vaulkhard. Plato had dropped to near the back of the pack where he was joined by Stephen Jelley and Tom Onslow-Cole – leaving three of the quicker cars at the rear of the field.
The race resumed on lap four, and quickly Giovanardi and Turner managed to get ahead of Hughes, while Jordan maintained his lead ahead of Shedden. The Scot was keen to get past however, and on the following lap he was able to slide past at Old Hall into the lead of the race.
Shedden set about extending a lead as Jordan worked hard to keep Jackson's BMW behind him although Jackson had to be aware of the fact that Jones was trying to find a way through into a podium position. On lap eight, Jones did make a move stick to move into third place and on the same lap, the curse of the diesel engine returned again for SEAT, as Darren Turner started to slow and dropped down the order. Although he would keep going to the flag, the pace of the car dropped dramatically and he would eventually come home as the last finisher.
Out front, Jordan was coming under increasing pressure from Jones - with Shedden now clear up the road in the lead – and having got slightly out of shape through Cascades, Jordan was unable to prevent Jones getting ahead of lap 15 at Island. Despite coming under pressure from Jackson on the final lap however, Jordan held on to secure a well earned first podium finish in the BTCC.
Jackson settled for fourth place ahead of Neal and Giovanardi while Turkington, Rob Collard, Plato and Jason Hughes rounded out the top ten.
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